mumming play

(redirected from Mummers' play)

mumming play,

form of drama developed in England in the early 17th cent., based on the legend of St. George and the dragon. The central theme of the play is the death and resurrection of the hero. The mumming play possibly evolved from some primitive folk celebration. However, it is most closely associated with the medieval sword dance, which symbolized the reawakening of the earth from the death of winter. During the Christmas season a few English villages still present the mumming play.


See A. Brody, English Mummers and Their Plays (1971).

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gt; The Town Crier leads the Marshfield Mummers, The Old Time Paper Boys, wearing costumes made from old newspapers, as they perform their traditional Boxing Day mummers' play in the village of Marshfield, Wiltshire, yesterday.
Tiddy, The Mummers' Play (Oxford, 1923); Sir Edmund Chambers, The English Folk-Play (Oxford, 1933); Neville Denny (ed.
It now features a procession from the Old Goods Yard to Tunnel End, where fire performances and a mummers' play about a battle to overcome the winter take place.
Act out your own mummers' play and create a ghost story as you follow the Christmas trail around Harvard House.
The Warwickshire historian, Mary Dormer Harris, collected the Stoneleigh mummers' play as late as 1925 from an elderly gent who had performed in it many years earlier.
But Dromgoole, perhaps assuming that his audience knows little or nothing of the previous stow, felt that beginning in medias res might be confusing, though the textual openings were both retained, each following the respective mummers' play that preceded it.
Greene states that "records for the [Antrobus] (or any other) type of mummers' play before 1800 are extremely scanty; during the nineteenth century, they multiply a hundredfold.
With Michael Boyle's help, Glassie wrote out the traditional mummers' play and the local school performed it.
The Monkseaton Morrismen and Folk Dance Club wowed the crowds outside the Ship Inn and Black Horse pubs in Monkseaton, with traditional sword dances and mummers' play.
The Mummers' Play draws, as Brookes said, "on an ancient tradition of theatre for change.
But it got worse when they put on a traditional Mummers' play on Boxing Day, dressed as women.
mumming playalso called mummers' play Middle English mommen to speak incoherently, be silent, perform (a mumming play), probably in part a derivative of mom an inarticulate sound (of imitative origin), in part from Old French mommer to perform wearing masks