The latest Cornish Story Café was held in the King’s Arms, Luxulyan on 26 May. An audience of nearly forty was treated to an excellent evening of storytelling, music and acting from Merv Davey and his wife Alison.
The theme of the evening followed the story of Cornish Guizing from its roots in the mystery plays to the present day with Pybaplus as a “special guest”. Guizer, Geeze Dancer or Goosey Dancer is a delightful dialect term that has its roots in both Cornish and English but has come to mean a folk custom involving a mixture of stories, drama, songs, dance and a certain element of misrule. Its Cornish origin is from the word “geys”, that means mockery, a jest or indeed a custom and in English of course it has connotations of disguise. The Cornish Geeze Dancers may well be able to trace their lineage to the Cornish Mystery plays indeed the last few lines of Gwreans an Bys transcribed in 1611 announce:
Minstrels growgh dhyn ny pyba
May hallan warbarthe downssya
Del ew an vaner ha’n geys
Minstrels, pipe for us
That we may together dance
As is the manner and the guise
Merv and Alison performed the story with a range of traditional Cornish instruments that included the pipes and harp with a final appearance of the “special guest”!
The evening was rounded off by questions from the floor and traditional Cornish music led by Merv and Alison.