March Mummers tour the town with a traditional play to raise money for charity
PUBLISHED: 10:35 07 December 2015 | UPDATED: 10:35 07 December 2015
The March Mummers are celebrating five years by performing their short play in various locations around March at the weekend.
The group, who entertain audiences in local hostelries and coffee mornings, will be entertaining the town on Saturday December 12 to raise money for local charities.
Kathy Cornell, one of the ‘comely highway women’ who accompany the performers, said: “We have great fun performing the play as well as raising money for charities that directly benefit local people.
“This year we are raising money for Open Door a group for older people who are living on their own and who may feel lonely and isolated.”
Over the years the group has raised £565 which has been given to Eddies (£226), East Anglian Children’s Hospice (£188), MENCAP (£100), and FACET (£51).
The group will be performing the play at The Friends of March Library coffee morning at about 11.15am, St Peter’s Church Hall Christmas Tree Festival at noon, The Ship at about 12.45pm.
They will then take a break before returning in the evening to perform at The Griffin at 6.45pm, George’s at 7.30pm, The Acre at 8.15pm and then return to The Ship at 9pm.
A mummers’ play is a traditional entertainment that usually involves St George and a fight with The Devil (beelzebub) or some other character, after which the doctor is called to bring the fallen back to life again.
The play used to be a regular winter pastime in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Plough boys would take the play around the pubs and large houses and, after the performance, contributions requested from the audiences.
The performers are Marcus Phillips (as King George), Rodney Crabb (beelzebub), Stuart Broad (the doctor), Malcolm Busby (the fool), Mike Thomas (Jack) and Steve Cornell (Dame Jane), plus musicians (Keith and Karen Cheale) and of course, the comely highway-women (Kathy Cornell, Christine Crabb and Lizzie Owen).