My Mum and Dad were folk dancers! ¬†Morris and many forms of serious country dance were discussed, toyed over, practised and performed on a weekly basis. Just a few months before my elderly Mum died, I remember her drawing out ‘moves’ on paper in preparation for an upcoming Playford dance. At the age of about 85, my Dad finally hung up his clogs and silenced his Morris bells when he realised he no longer had the stamina to give his all to dance displays.

So for me this exhibition at Compton Verney was in memory of all they achieved and enjoyed over a period of more than sixty five years. It was great fun to learn more about the early history of dance and its costumes – the subversive and dark side, its political leanings and hidden messages! But most of all the row of dolls transported me back to a world of Morris ‘sides’ each with their distinct costumes, props and antics.

An exceptional exhibition and a complete contrast to the Tudor Mystery!

Playford Dress – just like my Mum wore!

 

Morris Dance Doll

 

Three sober preachers c1860