FAQ: Where can I get the script for my local play?

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Master Home >> FAQ >> Finding scripts for local plays

First of all, you might like to check if folk plays were traditionally performed in your area, and if so, the time of year. See the FAQ: Where were folk plays performed? and its map. If your district is in one of the areas where folk plays were performed, you may be able to find a script online, or you may need get a hard copy from your local library or archive. Here are some of the main resources:

Online Scripts

A very good place to start is the Scripts Collection on the Folk Play Research website ( This holds the texts of over 220 folk plays from Great Britain and Ireland, as well as a few New World plays, arranged by nation and county/state.

Another good place is the Archives Catalogue of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library ( - the library of the EFDSS. This includes scans of manuscripts in the Thomas Fairman Ordish and James Madison Carpenter collections of mumming and guising plays, among others. As the database also covers folk songs and tunes, you may find it helpful to use the Advanced Search options and restrict your searches to the 'Customs and Drama Index'.

Hardcopy Sources

Hundreds of articles and books have been written about folk plays, many of which contain scripts, although often they are "hidden" within a more general local history book or local periodical. A useful first place to look is Electronic ERD: An Index to English Folk Plays (eERD) on this website. This lists sources of information on folk plays for over 1,500 locations, arranged by county, and its Introduction gives advice on how to obtain copies of the sources.

There is a companion to eERD that lists locations and sources for "Derby Tup" plays, "Old Horse" plays and similar animal disguise customs. This is currently only available in book form:

E.C.Cawte (1978) Ritual Animal Disguise
London: Folklore Society, 1978, ISBN 0-85991-028-8

Additionally, a number of more detailed and sometimes more up to date county and national lists have been compiled, which you should be able to obtain via your local library. These often include sample scripts:

Berkshire, England

S.Roud & M.Bee (1991) Berkshire Mumming Plays: A Geographical Index and Guide to Sources
London: Folklore Society, 1991, ISBN 0-871903-25-4
Available: Mumming Plays, 1991, by Stephen Roud & Malcolm Bee.pdf, accessed 24th Jan.2021

Cheshire, England

A.Helm (1968) Cheshire Folk Drama
Ibstock: Guizer Press, 1968
Available:, accessed 24th Jan.2021

Hampshire, England

S.Roud & P.Marsh (1980) Mumming Plays in Hampshire: 8th Edition
Andover: S.Roud, 1991
Available: Plays in Hampshire, 8th edition January 1991, by Steve Roud & Paul Marsh.pdf, accessed 24th Jan.2021

Isle of Wight, England

S.Roud (1981) Mumming Plays in the Isle of Wight: Preliminary Listing
Andover: S.Roud, 1981
Available: Plays in the Isle of Wight, April 1981, by Stephen Roud..pdf, accessed 24th Jan.2021

Lancashire, England

E.Cass (2001) The Lancashire Pace-Egg Play: A Social History
London: FLS Publications, [2001], ISBN 0-903515-22-9

Nottinghamshire, England

P.T.Millington (1980) An Interim Checklist of Nottingham Folk Plays and Related Customs
Long Eaton: P.T.Millington, 1980. Reprinted: Sheffield: Traditional Drama Research Group, 1984, ISBN 0-9508152-1-7
Available: T. Millington, An Interim List of Nottinghamshire Folk Plays and Related Customs, Long Eaton, Author, 1980.pdf, accessed 24th Jan.2021
Peter Millington & Idwal Jones (1999-2018) Nottinghamshire List of Folk Plays and Related Customs
Internet URL:, 1999-2018, Accessed 24th Jan.2021
Moved from in 2018, where it was entitled 'Bibliography of Nottinghamshire Folk Plays and Related Customs'.

Oxfordshire, England

S.Roud (1984) Mumming Plays in Oxfordshire
Sheffield: Traditional Drama Research Group, 1984

Staffordshire, England

Helm, Alex (1984) Staffordshire Folk Drama
Ibstock: Guizer Press, 1984, ISBN 0-902065-08-4
Available:, accessed 24th Jan.2021

Sussex, England

D.Staveley (2002) Mummers Plays
Internet URL:, 2002, Accessed 25th Mar.2010

Wiltshire, England

Wiltshire Council (2011) Wiltshire Community History: Folk Play Search Results
Internet URL:, 2011, Accessed 25th March 2010
S.Roud & P.Marsh (1978) Mumming Plays in Wiltshire
Andover: S.Roud, 1978
Available: Plays in Wiltshire, July 1978, by Stephen Roud & Paul Marsh.pdf, accessed 24th Jan.2021

Yorkshire, England - Pace Eggers of the Calder Valley

E.F.Cass (2004) The Pace-Egg Plays of the Calder Valley
London: FLS Books, 2004, ISBN 0-9035152-3-7

Yorkshire, England - Blue Stotts

C.Marshall & S.Rankin (2003) The Return of the Blue Stots: An Aspect of Traditional Drama in Yorkshire
London: Dockside Studio, 2003


Celfyddydau Mari Arts (1999) Traditional drama from Wales
Internet URL:, 1999, Accessed 25th March 2010

Isle of Man

S.Miller (2011) "Who wants to see the White Boys Act?": The Mumming Play in the Isle of Man: A Compendium of Sources
[Onchan]: Chiollagh Books, 2011, ISBN 978-1-898613-20-6, 225pp.


B.Hayward (1992) Galoshins: The Scottish Folk Play
Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1992, ISBN 07486-0338-7


A.Gailey (1968) Christmas Rhymers and Mummers in Ireland
Ibstock: Guizer Press, 1968
J.Parle (2001) The Mummers of Wexford
Drinagh, Wexford: JJP Publications, 2001, ISBN 0- 9540927-0-8
Available:, accessed 24th Jan.2021

More general books on folk drama also often include specimen texts, usually chosen to illustrate the variety for forms available. Ron Shuttleworth's Annotated Booklist of Mumming covers most of these books, and for most references usefully includes lists of the folk play scripts they contain -

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© 2008-2021, Peter Millington ( Last updated: 28-Feb-2021