Easter fun as Pace Egg plays return

A HERO will once again prevail as a traditional Easter play returns to the upper Calder Valley.

Hundreds of people are expected to visit the area to watch two versions of The Pace Egg Play, performed by The Heptonstall Players and students from Calder High School, Mytholmroyd, which both take place on Good Friday, April 6.

The key role of The Black Prince of Paradise in the Players’ version will be performed by Andy Carter, while the same role in Calder High School’s version will be played by Lamin Touray – although the school refers to the character as The Black Prince of Paradine.

David Burnop, who revived the Heptonstall play in 1979, said: “I am looking forward to it. It should be a good day.”

The master of ceremonies for the Players will be Juggler Neil Collins, who will perform alongside Ray Riches as St George, Jimmy Green as The Bold Slasher, David Burnop as The Doctor, Sydney Roper as The King of Egypt, Stuart Hought as Hector and Dean Gash as Toss Pot.

The Players will perform in Weavers’ Square, Heptonstall, at 11.15am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. The Hill Millies Women’s Morris Dancers from the Hebden Bridge area will be dancing traditional Cotswold Morris between performances.

This year charity collection will be for The Red Cross Red Crescent Syria appeal and the Hebden Bridge Little Theatre extension building fund.

The Midgley Pace Egg play is an old tradition within Calder High School, and has been performed by the school for many years.

The Pace Egg is based on the oldest play in the world, The Mummers Play.

The story is based around St George’s triumphs over The Bold Slasher, The Black Prince of Paradine and Hector.

The play consists of eight characters, which this year was again made available to all ages, due to the school’s excessive range of performing talent.

As always, it is an all-boys’ cast due to the ancient traditions of the play.

The remaining cast is Jack Deighton as The Fool, James Kay will play Bold Slasher, Daniel Cox is The Doctor, William Foulds as the King of Egypt, Joe Moorhead is playing Hector, Tom Jennings will play the role of Tosspot and Sam Harris is Saint George.

There will be 10 performances this year in Mytholmroyd, Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Luddenden, Midgley, Blackshaw Head and Heptonstall. There will be a collection at each performance with the money collected going to charity.

The performance times are: 8.45am Banksfield Estate; 9.30am Todmorden; 10.30am Mytholmroyd; 11.00am Hole Street, Hebden Bridge; 11.30am St George’s Square, Hebden Bridge; 12.15pm The New Delight Inn, Colden; 1.15pm Hebden Bridge Marina; 2pm Luddenden Village; 2.30pm Midgley and 3pm Heptonstall.