For the last week the Bag has secretly been slaving over her sewing machine to produce a Lark costume for the Side to use as our Beast mascot when out and about, and tonight surprised everyone at practice by turning up wearing it. What a lark! The Squire, in on the surprise, was ready with her camera and managed to capture the Side’s reaction; a very positive one all round with requests to try it on! The Lark costume was cleverly designed so that it can be worn and animated by any member of the Side and even danced in, something I suspect many of us are secretly hoping to try out.
Morris Sides often have an animal mascot or Beast who follows the Side around, traditionally an Orse (hobbyhorse) made of cloth and a broomstick handle for a person to hide under, but as time has gone on some Sides have moved away from the traditional Orse and have started creating other creatures and, naturally, the Worthing Larks saw this as a brilliant opportunity to create our very own bird. The Beast is traditionally made in the colours of the Side, and can be found interacting with the audience in character, often teasing younger onlookers or getting up to mischief, and may also be accompanied by a Fool. If you would like to read more on the origins of Beasts or Fools in Morris, please follow this link to be redirected to the Morris Ring website.