Gloucester International Mummers Festival 2013 - Authors' Biographies

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Oliver Crick

'Too Much Knowledge? Experience in show creation for rural touring with the Fabulous Old Spot Theatre Company'

Oliver Crick is an experienced theatre director and workshop leader. He holds particular interests in both commedia dell' arte and actor training. He is a founder and artistic director of the Fabulous Old Spot Theatre Company and a frequent contributor to the work of drama departments in both further and higher education. He is presently co-editing an Introduction to Commedia Dell Arte for Routledge, due for publication in 2014.

Threase Finnegan

'Unspoken Cultural Knowledge: Understanding the Endurance of Mumming in Northern Ireland, through Performance Ethnography'

Threase Finnegan is a third year Ph.D. student of social anthropology and a writing tutor at NUI Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland. Focusing on the role of the social practise of mumming in County Fermanagh, Finnegan's work was awarded the William Wilde prize for anthropology in 2010. This work was subsequently published in the Irish Journal of Anthropology. Her Ph.D. research is funded by the Irish Research Council. Finnegan's work focuses on aspects of performance, innovation and the endurance of mumming and folk drama throughout Ireland. She is the flute player for Irish music group 'Anam', and also a keen badminton player.

Ian Gilchrist

'The Widecombe Mummers - Creating a Tradition'

Ian Gilchrist: resident of Bath for 30+ years, currently a city councillor and Deputy Mayor. He founded Widcombe Mummers.

Peter Harrop

'The Ways we look at Mumming'

Peter Harrop is Professor in Drama at the University of Chester and currently Pro-Vice Chancellor. He gained his degrees in Drama, Education and Folklore at the University of Leeds (Ph.D. 1980) and previously taught theatre arts at the University of Addis Ababa (1980-1985) and Bretton Hall (1985-1996). He has published in Lore and Language; Folk Life: A Journal of Ethnological Studies; Studies in Theatre and Performance; Performance Research; Popular Entertainment Studies and Contemporary Theatre Review.

Andrew Jackson

'The Penny Plain Theatre - From Street Theatre to Mumming'

Andrew Jackson founded Penny Plain Theatre in 2004 with Mark Bamforth. They are a semi-professional theatre group performing as a run down and seedy Victorian travelling theatre. They perform a variety of shows at festivals, private functions, and for various stately homes, English Heritage and the National Trust. They also enact a Christmas entertainment and its summer equivalent based on traditional folk material.

Lynn Lunde

'Mummers, Janneys and Naluyuks of Newfoundland and Labrador Canada'

Lynn Lunde is a performer in the Newfoundland Mummers Play and a researcher of the Newfoundland mumming tradition. The working title of her dissertation is 'The History and Tradition of Masking and Disguising Traditions in Newfoundland and Labrador', with a focus on the mumming tradition. In the early 1970s she co-founded the Mummers Theatre Troupe, a collective creation theatre company based in and espousing the Newfoundland culture. Their first production, and the production which gave the company its name, was a recreation of the Newfoundland Mummers Play, a tradition unseen on the island since World War I. Following tradition, the play was performed in people's homes. The play has been performed in St. John's and environs since 1972 by both professional performers and community groups.

Cressida Pryor

'The Winchcombe Mummers Journey to 2013

Cressida Pryor creates community theatre events based on local historic characters; since 2010 she has directed the Winchcombe St Kenelm Miracle Play each July.

Stephen Rowley

Stephen Rowley has been involved in mumming since the mid-1970s. He is a member of the Gloucestershire Morris Mummers and the founder and chair of the Mummers Unconvention of which this symposium forms a part.

Ron Shuttleworth

'Mumming is not acting: What is it and why is this important? Gaining the Public's Trust'

Ron Shuttleworth is the Morris Ring's Folk Play Archivist and a major figure in the revival of mumming having established Coventry City Mummers in 1966. At that time Ron began a personal collection which has developed into the Morris Ring Folk Play Archive documented and linked via He has contributed greatly to both the practice and scholarship of mumming and given generously of his time to other enthusiasts.

Paul Smith

Reverend George Low and the Sword Dance in Shetland
and with John Widdowson: 'Traditional Drama in Newfoundland: Text, Context, and Performance'

Paul Smith is Professor of Folklore at Memorial University in Newfoundland. He instigated the Traditional Drama Conferences series at the University of Sheffield in 1978 and co-edited Traditional Drama Studies (1985-1996). His most recent works in this area are with Eddie Cass, 'The Peace Egg Chapbook in Lancashire' (in press), and with Michael J. Preston, 'Sir Walter Scott and the Sword Dance From Papa Stour in Shetland, Including a Facsimile of James Scott's 1829 Manuscript, "The Sword Dance: A Danish or Norwegian Ballet, &c, As Performed in the Island of Papa Stour, Zetland"' (forthcoming).

John Widdowson

'Traditional Drama in Newfoundland: Text, Context, and Performance'

Professor Widdowson was former founder/director of the National Centre for English Cultural Tradition at the University of Sheffield, and Co-director, Institute for Folklore Studies in Britain and Canada. He was Editor of Lore and Language from 1964-1999. He is the founder/director, Centre for English Traditional Heritage and editor of the e-journal Tradition Today. Notably, he was a contributor to H. Halpert and G. M. Story, 'Christmas Mumming in Newfoundland', University of Toronto Press, 1969.

See also the symposium's Programme and Abstracts .
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