Saturday evening saw Sue and me heading off to the Saracen’s Head at Warburton, on pain of death from JJ if we didn’t attend, as he would be telling our mums, who hadn’t provided a sick note.
It was great fun, if a bit bloodthirsty, and all the fine acting seemed to make the players very thirsty so it’s just as well the sword was blunt. What’s more, the players and the audience were well armed with instruments that facilitated a sing-song well into the night after their last performance of the short season.
The history of the Souling Play of death and revival is described here, from where there are links to the rest of the website dedicated to this local tradition that may date back to Pagan times.
The song at the end of the Warburton play makes reference to "put your hand in your pocket and pull out your purse", and over the years the purpose may have evolved but the words have remained. This year the plays raised a substantial sum for Multiple Sclerosis research. The players are to be congratulated for their efforts.
JJ has been performing in these plays for about 30 years. His own posting within his JJ’s Stuff blog is here. The next image is the only one I took of the actual play, but the other four images speak for the jollity of the occasion.
Thanks, JJ, for cajoling us into going along, and for providing some great entertainment.