As usual the festival had a storyline running through the weekend. This year that story centred around a booze cruise that was being planned by King Henry in around 1415 and it involved a certain Edmund of Norwich, from Fotheringay, coming into town to find enough people to go to France to help carry the kings haul of cheap booze back home! I can’t vouch for the historical accuracy of this event but it certainly kept everyone entertained.
Now those of you who follow our blog regularly may remember that in previous years we’ve had a spot of bother for not having a licence to dance on the Sabbath, but this year we were covered. Aisha was ahead of the game and negotiated a very good deal for us, so we didn’t get into trouble.
|All legit – our licence to dance!|
This weekend is always very busy for us with no fewer than four dance sets each day, including workshops and free dance, where we invite the public to join in. That is before we start dressing up all the children in Wellingborough in sparkly belts and embroidered waistcoats, and before we start applying our gorgeous henna and glitter tattoos. And, as if that isn’t enough, we also had the opportunity to dance with Serpentyne again – both days! Phew! I’m exhausted just thinking about it all.
Almost before we’d got our little home-from-home set up the mini-me dancers had started to arrive. Our first was Olympia and I promised her and her mum to put her picture up on our blog – so here you go Olympia…….fame at last.
|Meroe with our first mini-me dancer of the weekend – Olympia|
The weather was really kind to us again this year and despite a minor hiccup in the form of heavy rain for the first hour of the Sunday morning, we were blessed with blue skies and wall-to-wall sunshine. On the Saturday one of our sets took place in the churchyard which for the 2015 event had been transformed into a medieval market. This meant that not only did we get to dance, but we got a bit of medieval retail therapy too!
|Our first set before a spot of shopping!|
Despite having lots of "official" dance sets to do we just couldn’t help ourselves and even when we were supposed to be having some down-time we danced – well this is Ya Raqs! So there were quite a few impromptu performances in front of our tent.
|A routine in full swing in front of the tent.|
We also got a chance to do a bit of drumming – something new that we’ve added to the Ya Raqs repertoire – I tell you, there is no stopping us!
|Phoenece and Alma getting in some drumming practice.|
The crowds were much bigger this year and so welcoming – we were even visited on Sunday by a couple who almost had as much bling as us! I may be wrong but I’m pretty sure if we’d have pressed a bit harder we might even have been able to sign them up – they were certainly game.
|Graham and Lora Lawman pay us a visit.|
Although we weren't quite so keen for all our visitors to join us! We did have a small problem with a monk trying to sell us dodgy relics!!! Given how worried we were about dancing on the Sabbath, the last thing we wanted to do was get in to trouble buying things we shouldn’t – particularly as the court was just next door - so we quickly sent him on his way!
|Meroe, Phoenece and Mish Mish resisting the temptation of dodgy relics!!|
Our final set on both days included a workshop in the main arena and a chance for our mini-me dancers to show off their new found dance skills. Very few knights were brave enough to join us this year, but one hardy soul – Greg from Condensed Histories – donned a sparkly hip belt (specially selected to colour co-ordinate with his medieval attire). He certainly managed to connect with his inner-dancer. Well done Greg – and well done to all our mini-me dancers – you were all brilliant.
|Final Sunday afternoon workshop well underway.|
We had a fantastic time – as always – but all too soon it was time to pack up our little tent and head back home. A big thank you to all the event organisers and particularly to David Smith, for making Wellingborough Medieval Festival such a pleasure to be part off. And thanks to the good folk of Wellingborough – you made us incredibly welcome once again – hope to see you all next year.