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Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?

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12 Feb 99 - 09:55 AM
Barbara 12 Feb 99 - 10:04 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 12 Feb 99 - 11:25 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 12 Feb 99 - 11:27 AM
Cuilionn 12 Feb 99 - 02:20 PM
Allan C. 12 Feb 99 - 03:03 PM
Bruce O. 12 Feb 99 - 03:21 PM
Barry Finn 12 Feb 99 - 03:37 PM
Bert 12 Feb 99 - 03:40 PM
Barbara 12 Feb 99 - 06:53 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 12 Feb 99 - 09:13 PM
Peter T. 13 Feb 99 - 12:32 PM
Cuilionn 13 Feb 99 - 08:03 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 14 Feb 99 - 09:52 AM
mike cahill (inactive) 14 Feb 99 - 01:04 PM
Cuilionn 14 Feb 99 - 04:02 PM
Cuilionn 16 Feb 99 - 12:32 AM
Bev Lawton 16 Feb 99 - 08:42 AM
Steve Parkes 16 Feb 99 - 10:26 AM
Pete M 16 Feb 99 - 02:49 PM
Bert 16 Feb 99 - 02:57 PM
Cuilionn 16 Feb 99 - 08:29 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 16 Feb 99 - 09:57 PM
Barbara 17 Feb 99 - 05:25 PM
Robin 18 Feb 99 - 02:52 AM
The Fooles Troupe 17 Sep 03 - 01:00 AM
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Subject: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From:
Date: 12 Feb 99 - 09:55 AM

Alricht, 'tis nae a sang query, but I cannae think o' onyane whae'd be mair able tae help than th' guid folk o' Mudcat. Aiblins there's some ither puir sould oot there wi' a similar dilemmaöqn àqn €Ô€8 ÿ´ÿMessage_ID8  쳌£¥ Wÿ8 Ð|£¥ ' ÐHò' L … ã d^k Mf`æ' [n@ ^8ô' (Á


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: Barbara
Date: 12 Feb 99 - 10:04 AM

Cuilionn,(did I spell that right this time?) do you need a whole mummers play, or just need to know the ingredients; cast of characters? All the ones I have participated in, involved the cruel asassination and miraculous rebirth of John Barleycorn.
I probably have a script in a file somewhere.
That help?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 12 Feb 99 - 11:25 AM

A very helpful chap can be found here. Scripts too!


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 12 Feb 99 - 11:27 AM

oops.

sorry.


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: Cuilionn
Date: 12 Feb 99 - 02:20 PM

I dinnae BELIEVE this!!! I tried tae post a lengthy explanation o' ma needs yisterday, aboot ten times, an' this morn' aboot five, an' finally gave up 'cause o' a' th' error messages I wis gettin'. No I discover that, bewilderingly, the fairst few lines o' ma request hae shawn up, but nae th' rest... onyway, here's what I wantit:

I was invitit tae plan a worship sairvice at ma seminary, an' th' day they assignit tae me wis Shrove Tuesday, itherwise kent as Mardi Gras. Keepin' wi' th' theme o' Divinely Sanctioned Foolishness", I thocht it'd be grait fun tae craft an' present oor verra ain Mummer's Play, complete wi' archetypical characters, fichts tae th' death, bad rhymes an' resurrection. Anely ane problem: I've ne'er SEEN a Mummer's Play, an' ma ainly sources were a wee snippit o' a field recording frae Alan Lomax's collections, an' twa articles in hunnert-year-auld academic journals.

What I'm wantin' is some guidance regardin' th' basics an' necessaries. Is there a definitive list o' characters/archetypes tae draw frae? Are there things that simply maun happen in th' course o' action? Are there phrases ain o' th' characters is requirit tae say? I'll gae check oot th' websichts ye suggested, aye, but I'm thinkin' some ither 'Cats micht be interestit in this as I am... I want tae mak this a wee tradition if th' fairst ane gaes weel, providin' I dinnae get thrawn oot o' seminary or tarred an' feathered... Weel, this place bein' sae liberal, I'd anely be tarred. They wuidnae want tae offend ony chickens by makin' use o' their feathers!

Muckle obligit,

--Th' wee scholarly (an' potentially defrocked) Cuilionn


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: Allan C.
Date: 12 Feb 99 - 03:03 PM

Cuilionn, I have little with which to help in your current quest except. I have only seen one. I was made to learn that there is little that could be too zany or too loud for such a production. The play's purpose, they told me, was to portray some portion of a biblical story in some fashion which, (it was thought,) would capture the attention and imagination of the uneducated masses.

I am certain there are others who can share more information than I. Mainly I wanted to tell you that no matter what you say, I dearly love "hearing" your way of saying it! Thank you for that.


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 12 Feb 99 - 03:21 PM

The biggest published collection that I've seen is R.J.E. Tiddy's 'The Mummers' Play', 1923, reprinted 1972. There are 31 plays in it. These have rudimentary directions. Some are very short plays.


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 12 Feb 99 - 03:37 PM

Hi Cuilionn,"The New Golden Bough" has a piece on Mummer's plays that they took from the same Tiddy Collection that Bruce O. mentions. I only though that this may be eaiser to get your hands on. It's an abridgment of Sir James George Frazer's work & published by the New American Library for Mentor Books. Good Luck. Barry


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: Bert
Date: 12 Feb 99 - 03:40 PM

Cuilionn,

Seeing as it's Shrove Tuesday, you could always have a pancake race instead. We try to have one most years if the weather is fine.

I'm not having any trouble posting messages, could it be possible that 'it doesn't understand a word you're saying' :-)

Bert. (Who obviously doesn't know a damned thing about Mummers)


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: Barbara
Date: 12 Feb 99 - 06:53 PM

Ours always included:
an intro and exit parade of all the characters in outrageous getup led by a button accordian player performing a song that the crew and audience could sing together

various stereotypes: judge, doctor, landlord, minister or priest, hysterical wife, sexy flower vendor, cop, and always the central benighted schmucks, who do everything wrong

obviously a LOT of slapstick, including an operation on the patient where everything you can think of is pulled out,(rubber chickens, silverware, etc.)and the patient dies

a Morris dance. In our case the sword dance,which was used to decapitate John Barleycorn

other songs/dances as appropriate

lines for the audience, like "No!, NO! look out for the cop!" "Behind you!"

Flamboyantly foolish costumes

And the end often turned into a parade through camp. Where did I do this? Between 1973 and 80 at the San Francisco Folk Music Club New Years.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 12 Feb 99 - 09:13 PM

Having recently completed a December that included 3 (no, 4) mummer's plays for wildly different groups, I feel I may speak on the subject. The classic mummer's play is St. George and the Dragon. John Langstaff once upon a time published a script which may still be available at the Revels, Inc., website (will I ever learn how to do the HTML stuff and connect you?) It's a traditional one but short on slapstick. Anyone can write a mummer's play; the main ingredients are a Presenter (often called Room, for he/she runs in yelling "Make room! Make room! Good people all, pray give us room to rhyme!" or some such); a maiden fair (one of 98's performances had, er, Monica Lewinsky. The actor playing the part also had a beard!); the Hero (who must be sacrificed in order to rise again) and the Dragon/Monster/whatever it is that kills him (sword dances are good; Tony Barrand and John Roberts use a stuffed bunny toy). Sometimes Father Christmas shows up (tho not on Shrove Tues! Once I was in a mummers play where Mother Nature showed up instead!)If a quack doctor is thrown in, all sorts of potential is added for jokes, bawdy and otherwise. There can also be a Fool who eventually brings the Hero back to life when the Doctor can't; then the Doctor represents the worldly powers and the Fool is the wise fool/shaman type who has the real magic. Or however you want to interpret it. One group I "mum" with raises the hero with a group song sung by all including the audience (Lord of the Dance, Rise Up Jock, Julian of Norwich all have been used in my experience). Although mummer's plays are traditionally done during the 12 days of Christmas, there's lots of potential for a Shrove Tuesday one- at least around here, we need lots of reminders that spring will come back some day!
Cuilionn, mumming can be fun and I wish you the best. Please let us know how it went! I'd be happy to exchange a few scripts with anyone interested- most of the ones I have on disk are pretty tame, tho.
All the best- Allison


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: Peter T.
Date: 13 Feb 99 - 12:32 PM

There is an interesting story about someone who went to interview the author Thomas Hardy in the 1920's, just before he died, about Mummer's Plays, which were undergoing a revival after having essentially died out. Hardy was asked whether there were any differences between the revived Mummer's Plays and the ones he had seen growing up in "Wessex". He replied that the big difference was that the new versions were done with great enthusiasm and vigour, while the originals were done as if it were some kind of necessary chore. The interviewer said, how could that be? And Hardy replied, It was because for the originals, it was a necessary ritual, it was part of their lives, and they did it, even though they no longer knew why -- so they dragged themselves from place to place.

A different take on the past.

Yours, Peter


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: Cuilionn
Date: 13 Feb 99 - 08:03 PM

Muckle obligit tae all o' ye for yir help wi' th' play itsel' as weel as background information!

I noo hae a fairst draft o' a ten-minute play, wi' th' followin' five characters:

Pat (short for Patunia): a liberal religious scholar of uncanny androgeny

Sir Scholasticus: a scholar-knight of the Old School, and Defender of the Unchanging Way of Truth

Mildread O'Really: Blue-haired Churchlady of Immense Common Sense, and the maternel portion of Pat(unia)'s parentage

Nick Scarlet: Overseer of the Fiery Regions of Hell, Broncos fan (seminary's in Denver), and Old School Chum of Sir Scholasticus

The Reverend Doctor Looking-Glass: a most unusual Theologian, Cosmic Traveler, and Holy Fool.

Th' doctor will be ridin' in, nae on a hobby horse, but on th' Holy Goat, whae figgers prominantly in th' play's action. Och, this is gang tae be sae muckle fun!!!

Thank ye agin'!!!

--Cuilionn


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 14 Feb 99 - 09:52 AM

Cuilionn- That sounds like the beginnings of a wonderful time! Would you be willing to share the script when you're done? Also be sure to let us know how the actual performance goes!
Allison


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: mike cahill (inactive)
Date: 14 Feb 99 - 01:04 PM

Then in comes I, It's noble Ralph. This land is mine, all Ashton round and far beyond, Each man, and woman, bird and beast, shall do my bidding or 'nare cease to suffer rope and rack. But wheres my Tax? you mangy curs too long do sleep, Pay up or hang man you shall meet.

sorry, my past's catching up on me

Mummers plays are traditional to each area go to the local history section of your local library. there should be enough there for you to cobble together a mummers play for NEXT YEAR!!! It takes about 3 months to bring your cast upto performance standard, and that is after about 10 re-writes. Mumming like pantomimes are a living tradition, with lots of local and topical references. the basic story is good fights bad, bad wins good is revived and then banishes bad. It's a great excuse for a group of mates to get together for a piss up. good luck


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: Cuilionn
Date: 14 Feb 99 - 04:02 PM

Aye, Alison, maist happy tae share ma script, tho' some o' th' jokes are intendit for a seminary crowd an' therefore jist a wee bit obscure...

We did a read-thro' last nicht, tho' I've nae managed tae gaither a' th' official players an' comrades o' clerical chaos jist yet. Some o' th' folk whae read thro' it last nicht offered tae plant theirsel's in th' croud an' yell things, sae it's shapin' richt up! After I wairk on a theology paper th' day, I'm gang tae stairt wairk on th' "Holy Goat," sae th' paper mache will hae time tae dry an' get paintit...

Ance agin, I'm maist appreciative o' a' th' fine advice! Next year's play is a'ready startin' tae nibble at ma brain, an' this year's play is nae e'en pairt o' history yet! Jist in case ye e'er wondered how folk pass th' time on Feb. 14th when they dinnae hae Valentines... ;-)

--Cuilionn


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: Cuilionn
Date: 16 Feb 99 - 12:32 AM

Tae a' interestit parties (an' ithers...):

Tune in tae this thread Tuesday evenin', itherwise kent as Mardi Gras, for th' fu' unexpurgigitated script an' a report frae th' front...er, back...er...onyways, a report!

--Cuilionn, "of big head an' little wit"


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: Bev Lawton
Date: 16 Feb 99 - 08:42 AM

Well the tradition is still alive and well in Suffolk,England,UK. We always have a Mummers play on St Stephens day (26th Dec) also something called "The Cutty Wren" ceromeny dating back to when the plough lads blacked up during the lean winter months and performed dances etc for "payment" read extorted hence the blacking up!


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 16 Feb 99 - 10:26 AM

I seem to recall that no mummers' play I've seen would be complete without the following joke. Everyone enters with the line "In come[s] I, [name] ...", and several add "... I have been travelling in Italy and Spain" in the "real" version; substitute a local place for "Italy". Eventually someone actually says "Italy", whereupon (s)he is asked "have you ever been to local place?" - "Yes, but it was closed!".

It's generally believed that W C Fields got his version of the joke from England when he toured here as a juggler in 1898. Not many people know that ...

Steve


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: Pete M
Date: 16 Feb 99 - 02:49 PM

Steve, a traditional Aussie joke is that they went to NZ for Christmas but it was closed. Cynics may ask how they noticed.

Pete M (ducking for cover in case there are any other Kiwi's lurking)


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: Bert
Date: 16 Feb 99 - 02:57 PM

It's not a joke, it's the way they do things in England.

We were in Letchworth (Herts) one day and wanted a meal but the restaurant was 'Closed for Lunch'

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: Cuilionn
Date: 16 Feb 99 - 08:29 PM

A rollickin' success! All toes equally trodden upon! Shameless parodies! Bluidy fichts an' mystical resurrections!

Noo, if I can jist resurrect ma grades, an' finish th' papers that I ocht tae hae been wrichtin' insteid... ;-) Och, weel. Time eno' for that, at least I'm hopin'! An' they've nae thrawn me oot, at least nae yet, despite th' fact that th' dean o' students wis present at th' chapel sairvice wherein th' play wis presentit.

Ain or twa o' ye requestit scripts. I'd be happy tae post mine here, but I'm afeard tis tae lang, an' e'en postin' it in bits micht nae wairk oot. Suid I set ma hand tae tryin', d'ye think, or jist hae ye e-mail me an' request a copy? A choice o' Virtual Partial Post or Versical Parcel Post?

Sorry, ma brain's sair feshed th' noo, an' I'm nae responsible for th' mirey depths o' ma humor. I'll check back later...

Y'r obediant mummin' sairvent,

--Cuilionn


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 16 Feb 99 - 09:57 PM

Congratulations, Cuilionn!!! You can email me the script at aac@monad.net if you want. I'm eager to see it!


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: Barbara
Date: 17 Feb 99 - 05:25 PM

Me too, Cuilionn. My email is in the membership list on the Personal Page, and now that you've found THAT, you can click on "send an email" and ship me one.
But if that's too confusing, I'm millikan@viclink.com
Blessings,
BArbara


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: Robin
Date: 18 Feb 99 - 02:52 AM

OOH That would be lovely! I could see if another group would want to give it a try. We re-enact with the 79th New York Cameron Highlanders, and this might keep the lads out of trouble after hours.

Thank you for helping to keep the boys pure.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Instant Mummers Play: Just Add...?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 17 Sep 03 - 01:00 AM

Cuilionn hasn't posted under that handle since 1999.

Is anyone who got the mentioned script able to let me have it please?

Robin


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