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Eddie Cass

The International Traditional Drama Conference took place in July 2002 at the University of Sheffield. This was a very successful conference during which 15 important papers were presented on a wide range of drama topics. The programme also included a discussion on the work of Alex Helm in which the principal speakers were Christopher Cawte and Norman Peacock both of whom were colleagues of Helm.

Christopher Cawte and Norman Peacock

Christopher Cawte and Norman Peacock, who talked about their work with the late Alex Helm on the index that generated, among others, the indispensible "English Ritual Drama: A Geographical Index" (1967).

Christopher Cawte also spoke on "County Durham, the oldest known Sword Dance play text"

Prof. John Widdowson, retired Director of NATCECT (left), with the newly "doctored" Peter Millington. John spoke on "The Soldiers: Text and Context in Performance of Mummers' Plays from Change Islands, Newfoundland", and Peter on the "Textual Analysis of English Quack Doctor Plays: Some new discoveries".

John Widdowson and Peter Millington


Peter Robson and Mike Preston

Peter Robson (left) and Mike Preston. Peter's talk was on "Folksong in Dorset Mummers' Plays", and Mike spoke on "Reading Traditional Drama Chapbooks Closely: Evidence Concerning their Oral and Written Sources"

A brace of conference organisers: Eddie Cass, NATCECT (left), organiser of this conference, and Paul Smith, who organised earlier events in the 1970s and '80s, before moving to the Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Eddie's talk was entitled "'Dr Carpenter of Harvard College': On cataloguing a major folk play collection", while Paul talked about "The Papa Stour Sword Dance Play".

Eddie Cass and Paul Smith

A full list of the papers presented at the conference can be found in Traditional Drama Forum No.4.

Eddie Cass

Photographs: Derek Schofield