Folk Play News and Updates, June 2012

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Recent additions to the Master Mummers website, and folk play news from elsewhere.

New Review

  • Book Review: ''Who wants to see the White Boys Act?: The Mumming Play in the Isle of Man: A Compendium of Sources'' compiled by Stephen Miller. An invaluable reference book for serious students of folk drama and of Manx folklore.


Other Folk Play News

  • Call for papers for the 2nd International Mummers Festival, Bath, 16-18th November 2012 The theme for the symposium will be "From the horse's mouth - Mummers talk about mumming". The proceedings of the 2011 Symposium are being prepared for publication Q3 2012.
  • "Here''s a Health to the Barley Mow" London: BFI, 2011, 2-disc DVD set & booklet, 58pp. £13.00 This a compilation of archival films of a a wide variety of British calendar customs. It includes four films of three Mummers'' plays - Titchborne, Hampshire (the oldest movie of Mummers); Symondsbury, Dorset; and Bow, Devon - and of the Derby Tup from Ridgeway, Derbyshire. The introduction to mummers in the accompanying booklet is written by the ever readable Steve Roud. Some of the film commentaries now seem outdated and quaint.
  • Mathew James Levitt (2011) "The laughing storyteller: metafolklore about the origins of mummers'' plays" MA Thesis, University of Alberta, Fall 2011, 84pp, Accessed 18th June 2012. Abstract and full text download. Leavitt considers five narratives told to explain the origins of the mumming tradition. He contraversially suggests that evidence based academic scholarship on the subject should be treated as just another story.
  • Eddie Cass (2012) "The James Madison Carpenter Collection of Folk Plays" Folklore, April 2012, Vol.123, No.1, pp.1-22, Accessed 18th June 2012. First page preview. £23 to download article. Final part of Cass''s trilogy of Presidential addresses to the Folklore Society on important folk play scholars - the earlier parts having covered Thomes Fairman Ordish and Alex Helm. Cass has spent over ten years transcribing Carpenter''s collection for a critical edition, which we hear has been accepted for publication by the University Press of Mississippi, although no publication date is given. The address includes some previously unpublished material from the collection. [The geographical distribution of Carpenter''s collection is shown on the new ''Featured Map'' in the Folk Play Atlas -]

Peter Millington

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© 2012, Peter Millington. Webmaster: ( Last updated: 21-Jun-2012