Saturday, 2 January 2010

Mumming Plays

It's the time of year for mumming plays. I got to see one performed in Wantage on Boxing Day this year- the text of the play is actually recorded from my parent's village of Steventon (which is just down the road). Fortuitously, whilst I was working on archives at the Museum of English Rural Life research H.J.Massingham I came across the text of a mumming play which I think has not previously been published - it was in a box along with the manuscript for an projected book written by Massingham on Cotswold folk-tales and humour. It is very similar to one from Snowshill (Gloucestershire) so I presume its from somewhere in the neighbourhood. The copy of the text is not written in Massingham's hand, so I presume it was passed to him by someone else; presumably at some point in the 1930s.

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