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A one man mummers play

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GUEST,Joe Moran 16 Nov 03 - 07:28 AM
Leadfingers 16 Nov 03 - 07:33 AM
Jeanie 16 Nov 03 - 08:09 AM
Hawker 16 Nov 03 - 12:36 PM
Ivan 16 Nov 03 - 01:22 PM
Folkiedave 16 Nov 03 - 04:40 PM
Herga Kitty 16 Nov 03 - 06:25 PM
alanww 17 Nov 03 - 06:46 AM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 18 Nov 03 - 05:31 AM
Folkiedave 20 Nov 03 - 06:19 PM
Ross Campbell 03 May 08 - 11:12 AM
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Subject: A one man mummers play
From: GUEST,Joe Moran
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 07:28 AM

Years ago - 25yrs(?) - at a folk club in Southport, UK. a guy used to do a "one man" Mummers Play. He played all the characters in the play. When changing character he would dive his hand into a big box looking for a suitable prop to represent the next character. It was hilarious. Was his performance unique, or was he picking up on someone elses idea?


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Subject: RE: A one man mummers play
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 07:33 AM

Its a tried and true way of doing a song.Jim Heath used to do a Father Daughter song with one trouser leg rolled up and two hats.He also used to do the Chastiy Belt Spoonerised version with a sequence of hats.


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Subject: RE: A one man mummers play
From: Jeanie
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 08:09 AM

Ooh, I'd love to see Bastity Chelt done like that !
Reminds me of the Tommy Cooper sketch of the "British Officer" and the "German Officer", where he wore an entire costume split down the middle, and turned from side to side as they talked to each other.

Does anyone have all the spoonerised lyrics to Bastity Chelt ? I've just done a quick search here and only seen them mentioned in passing.

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: A one man mummers play
From: Hawker
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 12:36 PM

At Sidmouth Folk Festival this year a chap walked into the middle bar and procedded to perform a mummers play single handedly He was FANTASTIC and there wasn't a dry eye in the house - we were all helpless with laughter BRILLIANT INDEED.
Cheers, Lucy


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Subject: RE: A one man mummers play
From: Ivan
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 01:22 PM

I have seen Ron Baxter of Fleetwood Folk Club do an hilarious one-man mummers play. Some of you may know of Ron as a many time winner of the Worst Singer in the World competition at Fylde Folk Festival but he is also a fine songwriter and member of the group Red Duster. Shockingly, he sometimes even sings in tune these days!


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Subject: RE: A one man mummers play
From: Folkiedave
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 04:40 PM

As far as I know the original "One Man Mummer's Play" was performed by the one and only Steve Heap between (as I remember) his career between Valley Folk and Mrs' Casey's Music and well before he took over at Sidmouth. I assume that the person you saw perform it at Sidmouth was not Steve in that 1) he would be busy: 2) People would have recognise him. I saw him do it at a ceilidh in Hull and that wouold have been around 1968.

Regards,

Dave
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


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Subject: RE: A one man mummers play
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 06:25 PM

No, it definitely wasn't Steve Heap. Somebody did say, though, when the One Man's Mummer's Play was being performed in the Middle Bar, last August, that it was somebody who had sung in the Middle Bar before. I'd seen him do the One Man's Mummer's Play in the Swan during the 2002 festival.

Folkiedave - was Steve Heap's version before or after he was the drummer with the North Circular Accidental Band?


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Subject: RE: A one man mummers play
From: alanww
Date: 17 Nov 03 - 06:46 AM

The one-man mummer at Sidmouth this year, like many years previously, was Cliff (I have forgotten his surname) from Wessex Morris Men.
I have also seen such a thing done on several other occasions, including by a man from Uttoxeter Heart of Oak Morris Men (again I am ashamed to say that his name escapes me!)
So if you wish to follow up the contacts I imagine they will be pleased to oblige with further info ...
Wassail!
"My uncle Billy had a ten-foot ...!"
Alan Whitbread
Captain of Mummers
Shakespeare Morris Men


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Subject: RE: A one man mummers play
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 18 Nov 03 - 05:31 AM

This reminds me of one of Bob Copper's memories of his father Jim. In Jim's first songbook is contained the complete text of the Rottingdean Mummers play with a cast of characters; sadly as a footnote he wrote 'Rottingdean Mummers faded out 1896'. What subsequently happened, and this proves his total commitment to and love of the tradition, was that he performed the play once more on his own in around 1924. Bob remembers this clearly (being nine years old at the time) as a solo effort and a considerable feat. As was the custom in years gone by he performed the play outside the big houses in the village but history sadly does not record if he was rewarded for his efforts in any pecuniary way.

It must be stressed however that this was in no way a novelty idea, more a desire to 'keep the whole thing going'.


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Subject: RE: A one man mummers play
From: Folkiedave
Date: 20 Nov 03 - 06:19 PM

I am not sure when I saw Steve do it. In that Steve orginated from Lancashire and still has a Lancashire accent it seemed likely that he was the one seen in Southport.

I don't know when he was a drummer so can't help you then. A careful review of my memory suggests it would be between 1966 and 1968 - best I can do I am afraid. It was the 60's after all.

Dave
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


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Subject: RE: A one man mummers play
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 03 May 08 - 11:12 AM

I think the guy who did the one-man mummers' play in Southport was Phil Wilson, He returned from Oz in the late seventies and lived for a time in East Lancashire (Burnley/Blackburn?) He performed the play a couple of times at the old Fleetwood Folk Club at the Queens, Beach Road (to universal applause and amazement - the club was then the home of the Cod End Mummers, so the plays were well-recognized and appreciated here). He disappeared back to Oz soon after that and eventually became director of the National Folk Festival in Canberra. He returned to UK for a time to be Chief Exec at EFDSS and I think he is once again back in Oz. He contributed a foreword to English Mummers' Play by Malcolm Taylor and Doc Rowe.

Another claim to fame (or infamy?) was his rendition of a song about Australians and sheep of which the chorus concluded "I'm a woolly-bully from Tully, a Merino's delight".
I have sought the rest of the song to no avail.

Phil - if you're out there, can I have the words? (and tune?)

Ross


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