Logo of the Traditional Drama Research Group

Folk Plays - Winter 2004/2005 - Redcar Sword Dancers

Hannah Pearce

Redcar Sword Dancers performing Greatham Sword Dance Play at Greatham, Co. Durham, 26th Dec.2004

Redcar Sword Dancers, The Beheading of the Clown
The Beheading of the Clown
Left to right: King (Brian Pearce), Mr.Sparks (Mike Loftus), Mr.Stout (Geoff Porte), 2nd Clown, aka Bold Hector (Geoff Harrison), Mr.Wild (Ben Green), Prince (Chris Davison), & Squire's Son (Dominic Price). Background: 1st Clown (Dave Clarke)
Redcar Sword Dancers, The Lock at the end of the dance concluding the performance
The Lock at the end of the dance concluding the performance

1st Clown (a.k.a. Rantom Tom) enters calling for room for the dancers. The King then introduces each dancer in turn and they sing their verse following on behind the previous dancer until the circle is completed. A short dance is followed by dialogue between the 2nd Clown and the King at the end of which the 2nd Clown is beheaded having made his will bequeathing various items to some of the dancers. The beheading is following by a song in which each dancer is blamed in turn for the death ending with a call for a doctor to cure the slain Clown. The Clown is revived and the Doctor is called upon to seek his pay. The full dance is performed an ends with the lock.

The recommended URL for this web page is www.folkplay.info/Gallery/Redcar2004.htm