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Mumming - Introduction
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There is evidence of many forms of mumming plays performed in villages in the past. They were usually associated with important dates in the church or farming calendar. Few of the plays now remain intact, but it is clear that many involved a fight and usually depicted the triumph of Good over Evil. We have three plays in our current repertoire.

Our original mumming play is a Plough Play, which was traditionally performed at the beginning of the year, on or near to Plough Monday. It originated from the village of Bassingham in Lincolnshire. Over the years, we have added our own contributions in the traditional way, and entertained pub audiences. We recently launched a reworked and shortened version (The Reduced Plough Play), allowing it to become part of our regular shows.

Pace-egg plays are associated with Easter, and we perform this play (adapted from several sources) in the spring time and around St Georges Day. The hero St George triumphs over the evil antagonist, but the over-riding message is that peace is best of all. The actors wear very colourful costumes including elaborate head masks.

We also have a Robin Hood play with traditional characters from the merry band involved in fighting, and later being revived by the well-travelled Doctor aided by the colourful Jack Vinney. As ever, all ends happily. The play includes fights with quarter-staff, dance and song. Anonymity of the actors is achieved by using masks, and their costumes reflect the identities of the characters.

This page can show a short clip from our plays.

English Miscellany practises regularly throughout the year and performs the plays as needed. With more than 30 years experience, we have been able to run workshops at folk festivals incorporating all three plays with suggestions on how to go about producing a mumming play, and a chance for audience participation.

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