Avon Field Mummers

The Mumming Play

The mumming play is a traditional dramatic entertainment in which a champion is killed in a fight and is then brought to life by a doctor. The play, with its theme of the death and re-birth, has links with primitive ceremonies held to mark important stages in the agricultural year.

It is not known how old the mumming play is, for contemporary references to it do not begin to appear until the late 18th century.  It is possible that there was a common original play (now lost), which individual communities in the British Isles modified to their own use. It is likely that the basic story of death and resurrection was grafted onto an older game that stemmed from primitive ritual.

Avon Field Mummers re-write the core of their play every year to include contemporary local references.