Mummers

Dec. 16th, 2007 06:08 pm
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Went to see the Stourvale Mummers at the local pub this afternoon.  Excellent fun.  Just what a mumming play should be:

1.  in a pub

2.  Performed by a group who are enjoying themselves (the Bourne River Morris men in their winter incarnation)

3.  Hammed up for all it's worth

3.  In tatter jackets.  (this is not high art, detailed costumes are OUT)  Blacked up faces score a bonus point.

4. With appropriate boos and cheers from the audience

5.  Brave knights with metal swords fighting inches away from the bar and the audience

6.  Not, one, not two, but three knights!  (two is more common).  We got 'Slasher', a Turkish knight and St George

7.  A quack doctor who can cure the dead knights

8.  An audience who know most of the cast and who are greatly enjoying themselves.

9. Spoken in rhyming couplets.

10.  Just (and only just) enough space to swing a cat as the audience squeeze between the pub furniture and the bar.

Plot?  You want a plot?  This is a mumming play!

Look, the knights fight until one is left alive.  The doctor cures them and Father Christmas declares this to be a good thing and a few seasonal songs are sung.  Everyone applauds.

The mumming play in this form is probably about 250 years old.

http://freespace.virgin.net/peter.millington1/Mystery_History.htm

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Judith Proctor

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