The Merry Morning of May

The Calendar Project continues with The Merry Morning of May, which returns to Wandlebury Country Park for two performances.

The Merry Morning of May is the second part of The Calendar Project, following December’s highly successful performances of MidWinter Light. Once again, the magical environment of Wandlebury Orchard and the Inner Ring provide our setting.

Join us as we cut our capers into the Spring dusk in The Merry Morning of May.

Dates: Friday 2 – Saturday 3 May 2014
Venue: Wandlebury Country Park, Cambridge | Map
Time: 7:30pm – running time 95 minutes approx. Suitable for 16+

The Merry Morning of May

Where are the young men that here now should dance,
For summer is acome unto day,
Some they are in England some they are in France,
In the merry morning of May
Where are the maidens that here now should sing,
For summer is acome unto day,
They are in the meadows the flowers gathering,
In the merry morning of May
– From the Padstow ‘May Song’ (traditional)

May is the herald of the warm months of plenty and light, and the beginning of May – the Merry Morning of May – is a rush of energy and joy. It carries us out of Winter on a great wave of colour, movement, sound, play, – and sometimes mysterious, opaque rites and ceremonies…

For people living off the land, or in dark and squalid towns, without heating, without electricity, without ready access to a variety of food, the first flourish of Summer was a release from the constraints of living indoors through the darkness, cold and deprivation of Winter.

In towns and in the countryside, new greenery was fetched in from the woods and fields. People set up bowers outside, where they could cavort all through warm nights.

They danced – with or without garlands of flowers, hoops, ribbons, bright costumes and bells.

The energetic reappearance of animal life infects everyone and there are hobby horses, people dressed as animals, people dressed as trees. The Merry Morning of May is populated with Lords of Misrule, May Queens, Jack-in-the-Green. The absurd and the stately are side-by-side.

The wild energy of hobby horses, the animal masks and abounding greenery has infused imaginations with ideas of pagan sacrifice, fertility rites, animal and vegetation spirits. The Merry Morning of May still evokes desires for a long past, for old beliefs to linger, for something always to remain, for mystery in the familiar and for things not to be lost to us…

As a celebration of a sort of freedom, people still take to the streets, and the beginning of May has been marked in our own time with protests and unrest. People are masked and disguised – sometimes they are driven back and silenced, sometimes they break through the barriers.

in situ:’s brand-new piece takes this exuberant history of celebration and misrule, and fuses it with their own unique aesthetic and energy.

The Calendar Project

The Calendar Project is an ambitious cycle of performances that follows the changing of the seasons.

The cycle of the year, with its light and dark halves, and the points where one turns towards the other, or where both are held in equilibrium – these are transformations around which we have built notions of time and change, continuity and eternity, journey and return.

Over three performances – Midwinter, Spring and Autumn – the company creates a response to these changes, to our place within them, to the things done over time to mark them.

Performance, in all its forms, has always been at the heart of these markings.

The Merry Morning of May is the second performance in the Calendar Project cycle.