Mumming

Dec. 18th, 2014 05:56 pm
watervole: (Poole Mummers)
 Going mumming tonight if all goes well.

We did a few performances in Wimborne last Saturday as part of their 'Save the Children' day. That was different as I had to play two parts - I was both the doctor and father Christmas (as one actor couldn't make it).  Alex V (our mascot jig doll) was the doctor and I voiced him as I'm the only person who has the entire play memoried.

I was fine, except that I kept forgetting lines when I had to speak to myself...

I had it right after a couple of performances, but it really is disconcerting when you're doing both sides of a conversation.

Tonight, we should have a full cast, so I only need to be the doctor - though I'm also the prompter as our Father Christmas is new to the part (Poor man only joined Anonymous three weeks ago!) and is rather nervous.
 
watervole: (Poole Mummers)
 We went mumming last night and had a surprisingly good time in spite of horrendous weather.

We'd intended to go out last Saturday, but I had a very bad asthma attack and one of the other cast was ill as well, so Wednesday night was the only date we all had free.



So, Father Christmas, Beelzebub, the Turkish Knight, St George, the Valiant Soldier and the Doctor headed down to Poole Quay, walking at an angle to stay upright in the wind and rain and dived into the Portsmouth Hoy, where we performed to a small, but very supportive audience who dropped generous amounts of cash into our official RNLI collecting bucket (you would not believe how long it took to get that bucket, nor how much paperwork is involved...).  We then dived into the Jolly Sailor, a little further along the quay to another good audience.

We tried Cranberries, which was void of customers, but we performed for the staff who laughed in all the right places and also donated generously (we've decided Cranberries might make a very nice place to dance in the summer - it's close to the Quay, serves very promising pies and is friendly to people in strange costumes).  The last place I'd booked us into (in a series of phone calls the day before) was the Brewhouse, so  we finished up there.  Nice pub, but not as good as the others as a mumming venue.  I think places with some people having a meal tend to be the best.  You get a good atmosphere and diners like to be entertained and often ask about the history of the play.

Next year, I must remember to try the Antelope.  There were carol singers in there when we went past, and I've found it to be folk-friendly on other occasions.

Here's the Valiant Soldier facing the Turkish Knight, with Beelzebub cheating a little (he's after the souls, so he's all for killing them off...)



I was the doctor this year, so I get most of the best lines (albeit the most to learn as well).  I get to revive the dead bodies after St George has killed the other two with swords.  It's a very simple play.  The Braggarts fight, some of them die, Father Christmas persuades the doctor to revive them and Beelzebub gets foiled.  All of life in a five min script!  Then we sing a carol, which lasts just long enough to me to take the bucket all round the audience.

That's 250 years of English tradition for you!

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Judith Proctor

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