Story of the Dancer, St Gregory’s Church, Tredington, Warwickshire, 12 November 22


On Saturday 12 November, we performed The Story of the Dancer at St Gregory’s church, Tredington, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire. Our performance coincided with a farewell event for the Reverend Stephen Fletcher, formerly vicar of St Mary’s Adderbury and his wife Jean who had been serving in Tredington. Given the farewell to Stephen and Jean and the proximity to Remembrance Sunday, we performed this powerful story to our largest ever audience.

Performing the Story of the Dancer by Donald McCombie. Photo by Hannah Ekers

The Story of the Dancer is a fictitious tale based on a factual First World War event – the Christmas truce that took place in December, 1914. The story is dedicated to those who lost their lives in conflict and, in that context, it recalls the fact that many Morris dancers perished and this nearly led to the end of the tradition. The story focuses on how singing briefly stopped a war and united soldiers from both sides in a shared vision of peace. The story is also about a love of Morris dancing and the final part describes the revival of the tradition by a new generation of young dancers in the 1970s.

Photo by Hannah Ekers

Our thanks to: Donald who wrote and narrated the story; Donald and Nigel who played for us and to dancers: John, Troy, Chris, Richard, Theo, Dylan, Owen and Luke. We should also like to thank Charlotte for playing ‘The Last Post’ so beautifully, Hannah for her evocative photos and the Rector, the Reverend Canon Richard Cooke who hosted the event.