If you see a Morris Dancer on the footpaths of Preston, Chorley and Wigan in the next week, here's what it's all about...

A one-woman dance performance will be hitting the streets of Lancashire this Easter weekend.

By Catherine Musgrove
Friday, 19th April 2019, 11:21 am
Updated Friday, 19th April 2019, 12:29 pm
Faye in a Morris Dancing outfit
Faye in a Morris Dancing outfit

A one-woman dance performance will be hitting the streets of Lancashire this Easter weekend.

In a feat she is determined is “unwonderful” and provokes humilation, Faye Spencer will be Morris Dancing from Preston to Wigan over nine days.

The 17.4 mile journey - which takes in Chorley - has been titled Spencer’s Nine Daie Dumbfounder, paying homage to the Shakespearian clown Will Kempe, on which Faye has based the costume and her demeanour.

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Faye Morris Dancing

Legend tells it that, after a fall out with Shakespeare over the unsuitability of his improvised buffoonery for the great tragedy, Hamlet, Kempe staged a ridiculous publicity stunt in which he Morris-danced from London to Norwich over nine days - called the Nine Days Wonder.

Faye, from Kirkham, said: “This performance will be a tribute to that feat, but it’s important to me that I do it in the least feat-like and most unwonderful way possible, building in anti-climax, tragi-comedy and humiliation into the performance wherever possible.

“The distance between Preston and Wigan is relatively short, and split over nine days it is much shorter, averaging about 1.5 - two miles a day - less than my morning walk to work.

“I thought I would do most of the journey on the Wigan road route, stopping at each of the main towns and villages on the way and getting a bit of intrigue and interest from passers-by.

“It will be the opposite of an endurance or marathon, each leg of the journey being so short that it hardly seems worth the bother. This felt appropriately fool-like to me.”

The 28-year-old UCLan arts lecturer has been dancing with groups and on her own as an art, since 2012. She admitted she was nervous about taking on the challenge, but added: “It’s something very silly, but sometimes we need that in our lives.”

The dance will also “symbolically and physically” link to an exhibition in Standish called Reason Is An Impasse Reason Is Damnation, the brainchild of Faye and friend Anna Smith from Wigan.

The pair met when Faye danced in a Boxing Day procession organised by Anna, and they discovered a joint interest in the ancient archetype of The Fool.

The first leg of Faye’s dance will be from Preston’s Hanover Space to the Capitol Centre tomorrow. Over the next eight days it will take in Bamber Bridge, Clayton-le-Woods, Euxton, Astley Hall in Chorley, Yarrow Park, Coppull and Standish.