Mummers plays have been performed for centuries (and still are) all over Britain, and parts of North America as well, where they were introduced by immigrants. While not as commonly seen as the winter plays, other seasonal plays are often performed at various times throughout the agricultural year, particularly the Pace Egg plays in May, which celebrate the return of fertility to the Earth (the word Pace relates to Easter). Mumming plays were traditionally a form of begging, providing entertainment and merriment in exchange for food and drink, or in the case of the Pace Egging plays, in exchange for eggs and ale. They were also often associated with May Day celebrations, Maypoles, and Morris Dancing.
Our play, like all mummers plays, deals with evil vs. good, dark vs. light, and the natural cycles of death and rebirth. These polar opposites take the form of Jack Frost and Jack Green, who both want to rule the Earth, with a cast of characters who help to make sure the right one wins. This play is based on the ancient Green Man mythology of the British Isles and Europe, which focuses on the male energy so vital in the fertility and rebirth process. Eggs, which so obviously represent fertility, also feature largely in our play, as does a rabbit – and you know what rabbits are like!
The play is about half an hour long, and comes complete with elaborate costumes, music, pythonesque humour, good fun, and of course lots of malarkey! The mummers will be entertaining the public, FREE OF CHARGE, at the following locations:
Shelter Point Distillery, Saturday May 11th at 2:pm. The distillery is located just off the old island highway, at 4650 Regent Road, two blocks from Discovery Foods in Oyster River.
Campbell River Seniors Centre, The Commons, Ironwood Mall, Campbell River on Monday May 13th at noon. The centre is right next to Save-On Foods.
Tuesday May 14th 7 p.m. Denman Island Guest House
Berwick Retirement Community, Comox Avenue in Comox, Tuesday May 21st at 6:30 p.m. in the threatre.
All events open to the public and free of charge, hope to see you there to celebrate Spring!