Croydon Morris dancers have complained that police treated them “like Ku Klux Klan” after being forced to abandon a public performance.
The West Croydon based Wild Hunt Bedlam Morris had to stop mid show following a complaint from a member of the public about “noisy revellers.”
The 15- strong group had been dancing in front of the White Lion pub in Warlingham, wearing black clothes and full masks. Members of the group said that they were told to stop dancing, after only six dances, “in the interest of community relations.”
Speaking to the London Evening Standard, dancer David Young said: “You would think the police would have let us carry on. The way it all happened, you would have thought it was a BNP or KKK meeting.”
Paul Fearon, another dancer in the troupe, said that their unusual costumes are used to make their performances more entertaining.
“We have never had any negative responses to our costumes or masks. The tattered jackets that we wear are traditionally worn by border teams.
“The masks are simply used as a form of disguise and to add an air of mystery to the performance.”
The Wild Hunt Bedlam Morris was formed 21 years ago. They have regularly performed throughout the country at folk festivals and local pubs.
A Surrey Police spokesman said: “We received a report from a member of the public about noisy revellers outside the White Lion pub in Farleigh Road, Warlingham.
“The noise had already stopped and no formal allegations were made. The group left the area without incident.”
In October the group performed at the Cherry Orchard Arts Festival, Addiscombe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc4AyUc6Ipk&feature=plcp