Mummer's Plays

The South London Mummers' Plays

Mutiny arts produced and performed in three pubs a night, right amongst pub goers in Camberwell, Brixton and Clapham the week before Christmas 1999 and 2000.

Mummers' Plays have been performed since the 17th century in villages throughout England, Ireland and Scotland. The first account dates back to 1685. The plays have their tradition in troupes of performers touring around local villages and performing the play at Christmas or Easter time.

Some believe that the plays might be the remains of a pre-Christian ceremony, like the
medieval mystery or morality plays, which have been transformed into a folk play. All the plays have two elements in common, they are all seasonal and they all contain a death and resurrection somewhere in the course of their action.

There are 3 distinct types of play but no two are the same. The three categories can be divided into: the Hero-Combat, the Sword Dance Ceremony and the Wooing Ceremony. For more information visit the English Folk Play Research Website


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