Mumming in Hampshire: The Crookham Mummers



The Paper Boys 2016

The Exchequer (Crondall Road) Noon
The Black Horse (The Street) 12.45pm
The Crescent Green (Pilcot Road) 1.30pm
The Queens Head (Dogmersfield) 2.00pm

Crookham Mummers Play, December 26th

Crookham Mummers are promising a "Bigger battle than Brexit" when they take to the streets of Crookham Village to perform their traditional play on Boxing day this year.

Over 100 wooden swords have been made in preparation for the fights between King George and his opponents.

Sounds odd ? Did we mention that some of the costumes are made from strips of wallpaper, or that a Quack Doctor 'cures' the injured with gruesome surgery ? And that Father Christmas gets involved in an argument about pigs ?

It's a part of a centuries old tradition that has survived in Crookham Village, Hampshire. The Mummers play lasts about 25 minutes and is performed outside the local pubs, quite handy if you want to enjoy a drink while watching.

The play is a cross between street theatre and pantomime - it revolves around King George, England's champion, challenging and defeating various opponents in a series of sword fights, fought with wooden swords. The fights have been described as "full blooded" and swords are usually broken in each fight. With four or more fights per stop and four stops to perform at, that can add up to a lot of broken swords. Although there is a basic script, each year the Mummers add in topical Jokes and Adlibs. Heckles from the audience are encouraged and you can even eave your mobile phone on.

Long time Mummer Tom Dommett said "For some inexplicable reason, Mumming never really caught on in the rest of the world and is pretty much confined to England." The Crookham Mummers are one of the few teams that have kept going through thick and thin. In the old days it was a vital source of income for some families, but these days a donations go to charity."

3 centuries old debate about pigs may be resolved

In the 19th Century, the 20th Century and the 21st century the Mummers have spent every Boxing Day arguing about whether Father Christmas brought pigs off of Johnny Jack. This usually involves the crowd shouting "Oh yes he did" or "Oh no he didn't" depending on who they believe. This year, the Mummers are hoping the pigs will put in an appearance to help settle the matter, once and for all.

The Crookham Mummers are one of the longest running Mummers plays in the world. They have appeared in numerous books on folk customs, on ITV, BBC, Radio 4, at the Sidmouth International Folk Festival and are widely recognised by experts as the most authentic Mummers in the raucous 'outdoor' tradition.

You can catch the Mummers on December 26th.

The Exchequer (Crondall Road, Crookham Village, Hampshire, GU51 5SU ) Noon
The Black Horse (The Street, Crookham Village, Hampshire, GU51 5SJ ) 12.45pm
The Crescent Green (The Street, Crookham Village, Hampshire, GU51 5SN ) 1.30pm
The Queens Head (Pilcot Lane, Dogmersfield, Hampshire, RG27 8SY ) 2.00pm

The Crookham Mummers are one of the longest running Mummers plays in the world. They have appeared in numerous books on folk customs, on ITV, BBC, Radio 4, at the Sidmouth International Folk Festival and are widely recognised by experts as the most authentic Mummers in the raucous “outdoor” tradition. Crowds usually number over 1000 each year and the Mummers have raised thousands of pounds for charity.

Also on Hampshire Events and YouTube.





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