Fool's Gambit Morris

Banks of Green Willow

Update: The Banks of Green Willow project is now over. We'd like to thank our main sponsor, Lee Hallam, for making this possible. In addition many thanks go to Joe Dunn, who organised the majority of the project.

Fool’s Gambit is priveleged to have been part of the Banks of Green Willow, a project commemorating the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. In 1916, four of Cecil Sharp’s demonstration team died within weeks of each other on the Somme, changing the course of Morris dancing in the 20th century. We aim to celebrate the lives of these men and their contribution to the development of English folk dance.

The name of the project comes from George Butterworth’s composition of the same name, one of the most quintessentially British pieces of orchestral music. The main themes from this piece will be used in our show.

Our performance will consist of music, song and dance, both traditional and modern. Several dances are mentioned in letters home from the front, including jigs and a longsword dance, and we will be recreating these. We have also written some new dances, and adapted others, to represent various aspects of the war.

The main focus of the project was a visit to France in July 2016, where we performed at several prestigious venues, including the Thiepval Memorial, the International Memorial at Notre Dame de Lorette and as part of the Pozière Son et Lumière. We also made several performances in the UK, including at Tiddy Hall in Ascott-Under-Wychwood, the home of one of Sharp’s team, and at Cecil Sharp House. Fool's Gambit Morris are very grateful to our main sponsor, Lee Hallam for making this project possible.