VILLAINS were vanquished and heroes prevailed as the Pace Egg Plays were enacted across the Upper Calder Valley.
The street theatre performances, one of the highlights of Calderdale’s Easter weekend, attracted hundreds of spectators in Todmorden, Mytholmroyd, Heden Bridge, Colden, Luddenden and Heptonstall.
The historic plays tell the tale of St George’s triumphs over three challengers – Bold Slasher, Hector, and the Black Prince.
The colourful characters were brought to life by the Heptonstall Players and students from Calder High School, Mytholmroyd, on Good Friday.
Student Sam Harris, 18, who played St George in Calder High’s performances - known as the Midgley Pace Egg - said there had been a good turnout despite poor weather.
He said: “Lots of people turned up, it was a really good day. It’s a big part of the culture around here and I think people like it because it’s very different.”
The show raised close to £550 for Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team and the Alzheimers Society.
The cast was completed by Jack Deighton as The Fool, James Kay as Bold Slasher, Daniel Cox as The Doctor, William Foulds as King of Egypt, Joe Moorhead as Hector, Tom Jennings as Tosspot, and Lamin Touray as the Black Prince.
For the Heptonstall Players, Juggler Neil Collins was the master of ceremonies alongside Ray Riches as St George, Jimmy Green as The Bold Slasher, David Burnop as The Doctor, Sydney Roper as The King of Egypt, Stuart Hought as Hector, Dean Gash as Toss Pot, and Andy Carter as the Black Prince.
The Pace Egg Plays are thought to be among the oldest drama in the world. They were once performed all over the country but largely died out after the First World War.
Calderdale’s were revived in the 1930s and are performed each Good Friday, drawing on the Easter themes of death and rebirth.