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Friday, 5 December 2008

Frome Valley Morris Mummers

Every year since 1978 the Frome Valley Morris Mummers have performed an action packed mummers play which up until 1936 was originally performed at Broadwey near Weymouth. Their bright costumes with colourful streamers hanging down over the face for disguise are based on the actual costumes worn at the time.

The Mummers, as remembered by Thomas Hardy for the Mummers' play in the 'Return of the Native' performed in Dorchester in 1920. The Frome Valley Morris based theirs costumes, on the ones used by the Hardy players, originally designed from a sketch by Hardy.

The Frome Valley Morris Mummers specialise in turning up at a venue, entering and performing the play. The first the surprised audience knows is the unexpected entrance of the Announcer, followed by each character in turn introducing themselves Father Christmas, Saint George, A Turkish Knight, A Doctor, Beelzebub, Jack Vinney (A Village Idiot). This does not usually stop anyone watching joining in with the spirit of the play with interactive cheers and good humour.

Last year Dark Dorset followed the Frome Valley Morris Men as they performed there end of year Mummers Play at a variety of venues in Dorset. The video below was taken at the White Horse, Litton Cheney on 22nd of December 2007.

This year events in which the group will be appearing:
N.B. More dates and times will be available later

December 6

'Going The Rounds' a biennial event at Stinsford with the Thomas Hardy Society. An experience not to be missed, a chance to follow in the footsteps of the old Mellstock Band as described by Thomas Hardy in Under the Greenwood Tree.

The Frome Valley Morris Group will meet around 6.30pm at Thorncombe Wood Woods Car park to sing West Gallery Carols a la Hardy, round Higher Bockhampton, Upper and Lower, finishing at the Church at Stinsford around 8-8.30ish.

December 13th

Island Voices concert in Fortuneswell Church 4pm followed by a party in Pennsylvania Castle at 7.00pm

December 18th

Performing at the Sunray Folk Club, Broadmayne at around 10.15pm.

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