Folk Plays - Winter 2005/2006 - The Long Company
The Long Company in the Ryburn Valley, West Yorkshire, England, 2nd-6th Jan.2006
This year's performances were hit by tragedy. Pete Coe's explains in his "Dragon Kidnap Alert", circulated before Christmas:
The Long Company Mummers have been rehearsing their play "Bring the New Year In" but their Dragon has gone missing. Old King Christmas had a phone call from an organization calling itself The Dragon Liberation Front (Welsh Chapter) saying, "we've got your Dragon chained up in a cellar & if you want him back, it'll cost you, we'll be in touch".
Old King Christmas said the caller had a definite Brummie accent but he's yet to hear the ransom sum required. St.George is concerned that, without the Dragon, his role in the play is diminished. "I like killing the Dragon, so we need him back, whatever the ransom fee, as soon as possible for rehearsals, not to mention the performances in January." Meanwhile, the Prince Of Paradine is surprisingly non-committal. Common Jack & The Doctor are helping police with their enquiries. "We suspect the kidnappers may belong to a rival mummers team in the Midlands whose Dragon has expired recently or it could be more local mummers bent on sabotage, it has been known." However, Beelzebub, does not share these theories or concerns. "We can do without a Dragon, did so for years. I don't go along with this kidnapping story at all, Dragon's done a runner, better wages offered by Age Concern." Whatever happens in the next few weeks the show must go on...
Sadly, the Dragon was not returned and his fate is remains unknown, but as we can see, the show did go on.
The recommended URL for this web page is www.folkplay.info/Gallery/LongCompany2006.htm