Some Folk Play News, December 2010

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The following half dozen news items are likely to be of interest to Master Mummers' readers, although they do not relate to the website itself.

1. Bath International Mummers Unconvention, Nov.2011

Ian Gilchrist and Steve Rowley have issued a call to all mummers sides, groups, or teams, announcing the 'Bath International Mummers Unconvention'. This will be held from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th November 2011 in the glorious and historical city of Bath, with splendid locations and large audiences guaranteed.

This unprecedented festival of mumming and folk-plays of similar ilk is intended primarily for performers. There will be workshops, talks and a feast, as well as performances around the city.

Details on the web-site, where you can register your interest in performing or attending:

2. Mummers Festival, Newfoundland, 2010

Newfoundland Mummers Splash Page

Newfoundland's Mummers Festival in St John's is back again this year with a series of events and workshops starting on December 5th, and leading up to the Mummers Parade on December 18th. Newfoundland Mummers and Janneys nowadays no longer perform folk plays, but this vibrant disguising custom is just as interesting. Speakers include Sheffield-trained folk play expert Prof Paul Smith.

Lots of information at:

(Forwarded by Norman Stanfield via the Morris Dancing Discussion List.)

3. 'In Comes I - Mummers Plays of England - Wessex' DVDs

This double DVD set from Morris Dancers of England includes footage of full performances of numerous groups, including the traditional Marshfield Paper Boys, and Symondsbury Mummers. Price: £9.99 UK orders, £12.99 International. I will be reviewing this on the Master Mummers website shortly.

There is a trailer at:

Order from: [Folk Plays]

4. 'Mummers, Masks and Mischief' Documentary on Youtube

Feenish Productions recently uploaded in full its film 'Mummers, Masks and Mischief' about Irish Mummers to Youtube. The documentary, made back in 2005, follows county Fermanagh's Aughakillymaude Mummers, and explores the fine tradition of mumming. There is a fine and varied mosaic of performance clips and opinions.

Here's the link for the film:

More information about it can be found at:

5. Potterne Mummers, Christmas Card Stars

Bob Berry, 'Doctor' of Potterne Mummers informs us that they have become the subject for one of Hedingham Fair's christmas cards for 2010 - entitled "Jolly Christmas Boys".

You can check out the card and more at:

6. Thomas Fairman Ordish Collection

Andrew Bennett is running a project for the Folklore Society to digitise and transcribe the papers of Thomas Fairman Ordish. Ordish was one of the first people to research folk drama in depth, and he amassed a large and imporant collection of scripts. These were intended to form the basis for a book, but he was somewhat gazumped by fellow theatre historian E.K.Chambers, and his book never reached fruition. The project is reportedly going well, but a few queries have emerged. These mostly relate to items that seem to be missing, but they are also keen to find a photograph of Ordish (as am I).

List of Ordish questions on the Folklore Society's Facebook page at:

That's all for now.


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