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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Plays Introduction

There are several mummers' plays recorded by Alfred Williams. Mummers plays are usually performed at or about Christmas time. The range of characters is similar, usually including a St George, a Turk and a Doctor. The plays involve some characters fighting, one dies, usually St George, and is brought back to life by the Doctor.

Alfred Williams also recorded the Shepherd and the maiden. He describes as:

'This is a crude rustic play, rather than a song. It was acted at 'Bark Harvest', the summer festival of the tan yard workers, at Cricklade, and at Christmas time by players at the farm houses. There was probably other dialogue, not in rhyme, but I cannot speak of it with certainty. Obtained of Wassail Harvey, late of Cricklade.'

The texts of other folk plays are also included.

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