Can cure the
hitch, the stitch, the palsy and the gout.
All pains within and all pains out;
If the devil's in this man, I'll fetch him out...
Mummers' Plays are traditionally performed
over the Christmas period and
are believed to have their roots in pre-Christian rituals.
They are almost certainly older than Morris Dancing.
Central to all Mummers' plays is the
battle between light (personified by
St George or King George) and darkness (personified by the Turkish
Knight). The two fight and St George kills the Turkish Knight,
significantly when the darkness is at its strongest.
The quack doctor then "mysteriously" revives the Turkish Knight so
fight may continue the following year. Once this is complete various
sundry characters follow who have little to do with the story line,
and are later additions provided to encourage the audience to part with their
Village in England would have had its own Mummers' Play at
one time. There are believed to be about 1,000 extant plays
which fall into three categories: Combat Plays, Wooing Plays,
confined to Rutland, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire & Leicestershire,
which are normally sung or have an element of song in them,
and Sword Plays originating from the North of England.
Treasury Man spends some of the taxpayers'
hard-earned cash on a cheap grope with the Old Woman,
while the Valiant Soldier gets his trusty sword out for action...
|Lassington Oak Mummers perform
the play from Highnam. The play was last performed in either
November 1901, 1904 or 1918 by the Highnam Mummers, before
being revived and performed by us for the first time on Wednesday,
18th December 1996 at The Dog, Over; The Tall Ship, Gloucester;
The Whitesmiths Arms, Gloucester and The Fountain Inn, Gloucester.
No pictures please I'm meant to be delivering
presents, and, er, the beer's for Rudolph...
||The Blacking of the faces is traditional.
It is believed it may have ritualistic origins, although it
is more likely that it formed a form of disguise to assist
begging, which in the past was heavily punished.
|This man defends our country for God's
|Lassington Oak Mummers would like to stress
that they only beg for charity, not beer (although we will accept
gifts of beer readily).
If you wish to join Lassington Oak Mummers then contact
any of the following on this link
If you wish to see the Highnam Play then click here