'Case study: Mumming and Peterborough Folk Club'
In 1968 a member of the Peterborough Folk Club put together a mummers play using several sources from the local area. The play was performed by members of the club a number of times in the city over the winter. A super-8 film was also made of the performance and both this film and the script were deposited with the city archives in January 1969. Over two decades later, the play began to be performed again, this time by a group of English Civil War re-enactors wanting something to do during the winter. The performance was so successful that this group have continued to take the play to numerous pubs and events in Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire and Northamptonshire, including the Straw Bear Festival, every winter since. They also state that they have raised over £10,000 for charity during this time. At some point, the play has acquired an alternative history. This history and the popularity of the play will be explored within the paper, which will also seek to pose some interesting questions...
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About the author
Maureen James is presently completing a Doctoral thesis on the Legends of the Lincolnshire Carrs, for which she has researched the folktales, folklore and history of North Lincolnshire. She is also a writer, teacher and historical storyteller.