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Morris dancing – but not as you really know it at Terry O'Toole Theatre

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: March 28, 2013

Terry O'Toole Theatre

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This Easter, The Furnace, a unique project rooted in English tradition, will arrive at the Terry O'Toole Theatre in North Hykeham for what organisers are promising will be an unforgettable evening of "emotion, creativity and power."

Visiting the Lincoln area for the first time, in their tenth anniversary year and on a final tour, The Furnace features Faustus and Morris Offspring, a tenacious group of young dancers.

Morris Offspring has been credited with surprising audiences through a performance that proves morris can be powerful, dynamic and beautiful.

"Morris Offspring is a massive part of the lives of those involved in it," says Laurel Swift, originally from Lincoln and the creator and director of the project.

"It is huge, it is unyielding, it is exhausting and it is addictive.

"Whether watching or dancing, it's more than a morris team, it's a furnace of emotion, creativity and power."

Morris Offspring first arrived on the traditional music and dance scene in 2003, created for Sidmouth International Festival.

Laurel says: "I started Offspring ten years ago, and the young folk scene was incredibly different then. There had been very few young people [on the folk scene] for a long time, and suddenly, thanks to all sorts of things, there were people coming out the woodwork – Spiers and Boden (the duo behind Bellowhead) had just started gaining popularity, for example.

"There were still, however, very, very few young morris dancers, and it was still considered the embarrassing cousin by most of the folk scene. The morris scene is so different now – there are loads of young teams, and young people dancing in older teams. It's really great."

This tour will feature Faustus including Benji Kirkpatrick and Paul Sartin, fresh from a successful Bellowhead tour, and Saul Rose, a performer who recently finished a spell in the West End with War Horse.

Laurel says: "Hopefully it'll be a very engaging, energetic experience. Previous audiences have found it inspiring, energising and deep; a real sense of a timeless tradition weaving its way through the generations."

Friday, March 29 at 7:30pm. Tickets £10 (Concs £8). Box office: 01522 883311, www.terryotooletheatre.org.uk

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