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Mummers’ plays were seasonal folk plays with the identity of the performers concealed (kept mum). They had regional characteristics and were passed on by word of mouth, the plays inevitably became almost unintelligible.

From the 18th Century, cheap printed texts that people could understand became available, but we don’t have one. Ours is a “Southern English Combat Play”. In this type of play King George, (the hero),fights with Beau Slasher and Beau Roamer (the fools).

A Quack Doctor claims to be able to revive the dead and Turkish Knight (the villain) needs to be taught a lesson.Trim Tram ( the common man perhaps) does battle with Old Father Abraham, otherwise known as Father Christmas, (who symbolises the old year).Almost lost as a consequence of two world wars, the Mummers’ Play is today enjoying a revival.

You could say the play is about death and resurrection; the green shoots of the new year rising from the demise of the old. Alternatively you could say the play is about some old men drinking a lot of beer and making fools of themselves.

Traditionally the play ends with a character asking the audience for a reward and the singing of a seasonal song. Please give generously to our charities.Thank you.

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