The Pace Egg Play

The Pace Egg Play is an Easter morality play which is performed at several local venues on Good Friday, often with a mumming performance of a play depicting the triumph of good over evil.

Other characters include The Fool, The Doctor, and the clown, Toss Pot. St George kills the evil character, but he is restored by the doctor's potion.

The story is an allegory for birth and rebirth, sowing and harvest, and is said to be based on a 16th century story entitled The History of the Seven Champions of Christendom.

At one time, the play was performed in many parts of the country, but died out.

It was performed at Midgley in the 18th century and continued until World War I. It was revived at Midgley School by H. W. Harwood and F. H. Marsden in the 1930s and continued until World War II. On Good Friday, 30th March 1934, there was a wireless relay of the from the streets of Midgley, and a BBC recording of the play was filmed.

The play was revived again in 1952 by Bob Gledhill and is still performed at Midgley by 6th form students at Calder High School.

Local Pace Egg plays are performed in St George's Square, Hebden Bridge, and Weavers' Square, Heptonstall. A version was performed in the 1950s at Stoney Lane Estate, Lightcliffe.

The Brighouse Children's Theatre began performances in 1949 and these were performed on Easter Saturday.

A Heptonstall version was revived in 1979.

Versions were presented in many parts of the south Pennines. It is still presented in Wardle, a village near Rochdale

See Pace Egg, Georg Heinrich Gustave Würz and Yorkshire Film Archive

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 15:13 / 15th May 2021 / 4659

Page Ref: MMP2

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