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 Connecting professional and amateur theatre in Newbury, West Berkshire and beyond

Special events

Mummers

The plays are generally about death and resurrection and the roots probably go back before Christianity but as with many traditions the Church tried to either eliminate or adapt them for its own purposes. Being performed at the turn of the year, the death and resurrection could represent the passing of the old year and the coming of the new. In this area, the plays were performed in the large houses in front of the local squire or other land-owner. The words of the play were part of the oral tradition and never written down. So the words varied with each performance and from year to year as the players tried to remember their parts and whenever a new member joined the band. Even today, most mummers use quite a lot of improvisation and asides that keep the plays alive and topical. In former times, performing the play enabled the players to collect money for beer and possibly to help tide them over the winter season when there was little paid work around. Nowadays, some teams collect for charity.

Friday 14th December
20:00 - The Bunk, Curridge RG18 9DS Cold Ash and Hermitage Mummers
20:30 - The Fox, Hermitage RG18 9RB Cold Ash and Hermitage Mummers
21:00 - The White Horse, Hermitage RG18 9TB Cold Ash and Hermitage Mummers

Tuesday 18th December - Abingdon Mummers village tour
19:30 - Wheatsheaf, Drayton
20:00 - Plum Pudding, Milton
20:30 - Cherry Tree, Steventon
21:15 - North Star, Steventon
22:00 - Red Lion, Drayton

Thursday 20th December - Abingdon Mummers in Abingdon
19:30 - Punch Bowl
19:50 - Broad Face
20:20 - Kings Head and Bell
20:45 - Old Anchor
21:15 - The Grapes
21:45 - Conservative Club
22:15 - Brewery Tap

Friday 21st December
20:00 - The Cottage Inn, Upper Bucklebury RG7 6QJ Cold Ash and Hermitage Mummers
20:35 - Spotted Dog, Cold Ash RG18 9PR Cold Ash and Hermitage Mummers
21:10 - The Castle, Cold Ash RG20 9PS Cold Ash and Hermitage Mummers

Wednesday 26th December
10:00 - Faringdon Market Place SN7 7HU The Wantage Mummers
12:00 - The Bear Hotel, Wantage OX12 8AB The Wantage Mummers
13:15 - Village Hall, Childrey OX12 9UE The Wantage Mummers