Based in Selly Oak, Birmingham, Black Adder Morris is an any age, any gender side which enjoys dancing, making music and having fun together.
Our dancing style is lively and from the North West Morris tradition, which is why we wear clogs, as was done in the mills of Lancashire. Our particular interpretation of this tradition is highly personal to our side.
When we dance out in the community we dance in clogs and wear rag jackets. When we practice we wear whatever takes our fancy. We have a band of lovely musicians and always welcome more.
No experience is required to come and have some fun dancing with us, so please come and try it, although if you are a musician you will need a reasonable competency on your instrument to keep up.
Black Adder Morris was formed in Birmingham in 1984. Tradition has it that the side was formed on a very boozy night in the Dirty Duck in Edgbaston. Such a mad idea had to come from somewhere and it was brought to life by a small number of people who wanted to dance together as a mixed side, which was not available locally at the time.
The name was to be ‘Red Dragon Morris’ which was reflected in the red dungarees with bright yellow gold shirts they all wore, but after six months an evolution took place and it transformed into ‘Black Adder’. This was because after practice every Thursday night they all went round to someone’s house to watch a videoed episode of Black adder (after the pub, of course)! Read more on the origins of Black Adder Morris
Dancing with Black Adder Morris is, first and foremost, for fun!
We look to enjoy ourselves, learn new things, get fitter and entertain. We do not take ourselves very seriously and everyone goes at their own pace with no pressure.
Our dances are loosely based on the North West tradition so we have two main steps that we use. One is the ‘step-hop’ and the other main step is called a ‘rant’. If you’d like to see these being performed please take a look at the dancing page.
We welcome new people to come and have some fun. No one is pressurised and no one is asked to dance anything they would rather not, or dance out if they are not ready. We are there to enjoy ourselves.
We have always been very fortunate to have a good band of musicians.
We are always ready to welcome musicians on any instrument who would like to perform, entertain, have fun and share camaraderie. (The instruments are generally those that don’t involve amplification for practical reasons, unless you can walk carrying the amp, as one member does.)
On practice nights the musicians play for the dancers to learn the dances and this provides practice simultaneously. Music scores are available for private practice beforehand and to use on practice nights if needed. Most musicians play from memory but some always use musicand that’s ok, too. Read more on our Music…
Black Adder Dances & Tunes
|Annie’s Delight (it wasn’t at all!)||~||Dr Faustus/Loddie/The Ton|
|Gooseberry (a fruit crushing dance – in clogs?)||~||Long Morris/Captain Pugwash|
|Goostrey (a traditional North West dance from the village of Goostrey in Cheshire)||~||Speed The Plough|
|Cotteridge Island (named after two mini roundabouts outside our last meeting place!)||~||Bog Down The Valley|
|Nina’s Shuffle (she couldn’t do it!)||~||Church Street|
|French Exchange (written for an exchange visit to France with French folk dancers)||~||The High Road to Linton|
|Mighty Oak||~||Cafouillée/Panic Polka|
|Snake Reel||~||Dorset 4 Hand Reel|
|Pieces of Six (arrrr!)||~||Tortuga|
|Jane’s Dance||~||Manx Tune/Shepherd’s Hay|
|Carousel||~||One For Dan|
|Plymouth Reel||~||La Débadeuse|
|Interchange (named after Spaghetti Junction!)||~||Jenny Lind|
|Windmill||~||Salmon Tails (for 8 dancers) Pas d’été (for 4)|
|Mrs Hepple’s Cat||~||Double Lead Through/Dorset 4 Hand Reel|
|Mike’s Squrrr Dance (it’s all in the accent!)||~||Twin Sisters|
We have a busy calendar throughout the year and we are pleased to show you what we are up to in the coming months.
Black Adder welcomes invitations to dance at community events, festivals and pubs, particularly on Thursdays (which is our practice night) or at weekends. We are able to accept invitations if we have enough musicians and dancers available on the suggested occasion. We have to plan well in advance for this to be possible so we almost certainly will not be available for last minute events.
We run taster sessions, but most people just contact us and appear. We have had a gentle flow of new dancers and some musicians in recent years and we welcome more.
As part of what we do we sometimes offer workshops for groups of children, young people and adults who visit us and who would like to experience this English tradition in an atmosphere of fun. We generally offer these workshops on a Thursday as this is our practice night. Other days are subject to our availability.
Get In Touch
Black Adder Morris would be delighted to hear from you with enquiries. Please contact our secretary, Sue on: firstname.lastname@example.org .
We are pleased to practice in the very hospitable Meeting House of the Selly Oak Quakers in Birmingham.
The address is: 930 Bristol Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 6NB
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That blue square next to the words 'Bristol Road' is a large (redundant) bus shelter. Turn left down the little access road immediately after it, in front of the white Selly Oak Quaker sign.
The Meeting House is set back from the road but visible from it. Parking is in front of the building.
Selly Oak station is approx. 3/4 mile away; there are various buses, including the No.11, and the Nos 61, 62 and 63 which stop a few hundred yards from the hall.