The Pace Egging Play
At the sound of the Leaders Whistle , the players enter the performance area singing a “Calling in Song” and form a rough circle. The performance is given in as broad a Lancashire accent as possible and all actions are performed dramatically to the extreme.
All The Players Sing
Here's one two three jolly lads all in one mind, we've come a Pace Egging and we hope you’ll prove kind. And we hope you'll prove kind with your Eggs and strong beer and we'll come no more nigh you until the next year, fol a dee, foll a dee, foll a diddle um di day.
The Fool enters the performance area and introduces the play
I open the door, I enter in I hope your favour we shall win. So stir up the fire , strike a light and watch my merry lads act tonight whether we stand or whether we fall we'll do our best to please you all. So room room brave fellows all, give us room to rhyme we'll do our best to please you all this happy Easter time and if you don't believe what I say.........Step in St George and clear the way.
St George enters the performance area. He is dressed in his traditional white tabard with the Cross on his breast. He wears a Gold helmet and carries a sword and a dead dragon. He then declares...
In comes I this man of courage bold, with my broad axe and sword I won this crown of gold. I fought this fiery dragon and drove it to the slaughter and by these means won the King of Egypt's daughter. Show me the man who bids me stand and I'll cut him down with my right hand
Enter Slasher the Turkish Knight. He wears a fez and his sword is marked with the Star and Crescent of The Prophet
In comes I this Turkish Knight, come from foreign lands to fight. Come to fight St George , this man of courage bold. If his blood runs hot, I’ll soon turn it cold.
St George responds to Slasher
Stand back Slasher and let no more be said, for if I draw my sword I’ll surely break thy head. Thou speakest bold to such a man as me,I'll cut thee in small pieces and bend thee at the knee.
How can thou break my head ? My head is made of iron, my body made of steel, my hands and feet are knuckle bone no man shall make me kneel.
St George challenges Slasher
Then draw thy sword and fight, or draw thy purse and pay, for life or payment I shall have before we end this day
Slasher responds to St George's challenge
No life or payment shalt thou have for with my sword thy head I'll cleave.
St George draws his sword
Then here we'll settle who shall fall and sword to sword with thee I'll call
Slasher draws his own sword
Aye and sword to sword with thee I'll give to see who upon this ground shall live.
( Slasher often makes a disparaging comment at this point on the age of the carpet/cleanliness of floor etc depending on the performance area )
St George gives his final warning
Then guard thy body and mind thy head or with my sword I'll strike thee dead.
Slasher prepares to fight
One shall live and the other shall dee, this is the challenge I give thee
St George and Slasher fight with swords to much ribald encouragement from the crowd and players until with a flourish, St George runs Slasher through.
The Fool re enters the performance area and exclaims in anguished tones
Oh cruel Christian, what hast thou done ? Thou hast wounded and slain my only son
St George replies
He challenged me to deadly fight, and never shall St George deny it
The Fool addresses the crowd
Oh is there a Doctor to be found , to cure this deep and deadly wound ? Doctor Doctor where art thou ? My son is wounded to the knee,Doctor Doctor play thy part my son is wounded to the heart, I'll put down a thousand pounds if e’er a Doctor can be found
Enter The Doctor
Aye there is a Doctor to be found , to cure this deep and deadly wound. I'm a Doctor , pure and good, and with my right hand I'll staunch his blood.
The Fool addresses The Doctor
But where hast thou been and from where dost thou come ?
The Doctor replies to The Fool
Italy , Sicily , Germany, France and Spain, three times around the world and back again.
The Fool addresses The Doctor again
But what canst thou do and what canst thou cure ?
The Doctor replies airily
Oh, All sorts of diseases, just what my physic pleases. The itch, the stitch, the pox and gout, rheumatics in and pains without. Now !
(He pulls a bottle from his pocket or bag and shows it to the crowd with a dramatic flourish. The Bottle is usually Guinness or some other famous brand)
I have a bottle by my side, its fame has travelled far and wide. The stuff in here is elicampane, bring anyone back to life again, a drop on his head and a drop on his heart, stand up bold fellow and take thy part.
The Doctor administers the medicine, Slasher is brought back to life and the players cheer
Enter Big Head, he may use the team shield to dance on if the floor of the performance area is carpeted or polished
In comes I, I haven’t been in yet, with my big head and my little wit. With my head so big and my wit so small, I'll dance a jig to please you all.
Big Head dances for the audience and leaves . Enter Beelzebub wearing a hat with horns, he carries a club and a chip pan, he is wearing chains
In comes I Beelzebub, over my shoulder I carries a club. In my hand a dripping pan, don't you think I'm a jolly old man ?
The Players great this with various ribald comments
Enter Johnny Jack, he wears three dolls strapped to his back
In comes I little Johnny Jack, I've two or three young 'uns on my back. Its your money we want and your goodness we crave so we'll sing you a song and we'll take our leave.
The Players form a circle with Beelzebub in the middle. As they circle him the players touch his club with their own stick to gain luck.
The Players sing
Old toss pot old toss pot old toss pot you see, with a bunch of blue ribbons tied around to his knee. He's a worthy old man and he wears a pig tail and his only delight is in drinking old ale, fol a dee fol a da fol a diddle aye dum day
The Players reverse direction and sing
Jack the sailor killed his wife, cut her up with a carving knife, weep away, weep away, play the fiddle we're all so gay we're all so gay, play the fiddle we're all so gay.
The Players reverse direction again and whilst continuing to sing leave the circle and form a line ready to take their bows
Down in Bent's meadow there's plenty of bugs, they jump in your pocket and out of your lugs. We'll take a sharp knife and cut their heads off, then we'll have a good supper of bugs head and broth, fol a dee fol a di fol a diddle um di day.
The Flayers take their individual bows
First their does step in ,is our noble fool and lads if you believe me he's never been to school.
Right fol ru a laddie right fol ru a laddie
Next their does step in ,is our noble George and lads if you believe me he wears his mothers drawers. Right fol ru.........etc.
Next their does step in, is our noble Slasher and lads if you believe me he makes a good egg smasher. Right fol ru …..etc.
Next their does step in, is our Doctor Quack and lads if you believe me he cured poor Slasher's back.
Right fol ru.....etc.
Next their does step in, is our Beelzebub and lads if you believe me he’s ne'er seen t'washing tub.
Right fol ru.....etc.
Next their does step in, is our Big head gay and lads if you believe me we're all going away.
Right fol ru.....etc.
Next their does step in is our Johnny Jack, and lads if you believe me next year we're coming back.
Right fol ru....etc.
The Fool closes the performance
Ladies and Gentlemen ! Our play is ended and our money box is recommended, five or six shillings wont do us any harm, gold or silver if you can. So thank you very much and a Happy Easter to you all.