Traditional pre Christmas play comes to the inns of March

March Mummers

March Mummers - Credit: Archant

The March Mummers have announced that they will be back in town for the fourth year to perform in local hostelries and coffee mornings.

They will be performing a short play in the run up to Christmas, to entertain the public, have fun and raise money for the local charity Eddie’s.

The six performers, musicians, and three comely highway-women collectors, will be performing the short play on Saturday December 13 at St Peter’s Church Hall Christmas Tree Festival at 11am.

They will also be staging it on the same day at The Friend’s of March Library coffee morning at 11.30am, Georges at about noon, The Acre at about 12.45, The Griffin Hotel at about 1.30pm and The Ship at about 2.15pm.

A mummers’ play is a traditional entertainment that usually involves St George and a fight with The Devil (Beelzebub) or similar 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 would be requested from the audiences.

Stuart Broad, founder of the group explained: “I had heard and seen Mummer’s plays being performed in the area and decided to do the same in our town. So I gathered together a number of friends in the Autumn of 2011 to perform in March.

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“We had so much fun that we have continued each Christmas since then. This year we will once again perform a short play that has traditional roots, indeed the core of it was performed near Peterborough in the 1840s.”

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 Cheale and Alan Roberts.

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