Playing the fool
PUBLISHED: 16:54 19 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 06 May 2010
THE weird and wacky are preparing to gather and entertain. This year s Illustrious Order of Fools and Beasts Unconvention is to be held at Old Warden Village Hall towards the end of the month. It is expected that 30 to 40 Morris Fools, Animals and Beasts
THE weird and wacky are preparing to gather and entertain.
This year's Illustrious Order of Fools and Beasts Unconvention is to be held at Old Warden Village Hall towards the end of the month.
It is expected that 30 to 40 Morris Fools, Animals and Beasts (both male and female) will get together for a weekend of dancing, fooling, displays and workshops, plus copious amounts of eating and drinking.
Morris dancers are often accompanied by characters like a Fool, a Beast, an Animal, or a Cake Bearer.
The Fools' role is manifold, but essentially they provide a link with the audience, perhaps to make the announcements, maybe to give quiet explanations to individuals, possibly to chivvy up the dancers with their pig bladders, cow tails or baubles.
They may provide an entertainment between the dances as mimes, conjurers, jugglers, musicians or comics.
The beasts have a very large range - their types, sizes, origins, constructions and characters are legion. However, the beasts seen today are there to support the dancers where they add colour and humour to the displays.
The weekend of "beastly fooling" will be hosted by The Letchworth Morris Men, under the direction of Roger Comley, Fool to the Squire of the Morris Ring.
During Saturday, October 28, the Fools and Beasts, accompanied by members of Letchworth Morris, will perform in Biggleswade town centre between 11am and noon, Ashwell Museum from 2.30 to 3pm and The Cock, Broom, at 3.45pm.
For more information about Fools and Beasts, visit http://www.foolsandbeasts.org.uk/
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