Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 16: Special and Annual Events
Christmas Mummers’ Play


Mummers’ Play in Laurel House living room c. 1940s. Photograph by Arthur Dodd. [nace_1_024a.jpg]

TAGS: Mummers’ Play, folk plays, Old Father Christmas, St. George, Beezebub, Fool, Morris dancing, Sword dancing, Laurel House, mummering, Evelyn K. Wells, The Ballad Tree, Christmas traditions, the Herald, poetry, Mummers’ Play scripts

CHRISTMAS Mummers’ Play 1920s-1940s

The Mummers’ Play is a frolicking and fast-moving folk play that brought an Old English tradition to the mountains. It was one of the events that many students looked forward to as it allowed considerable over-acting and great choreographed acrobatics. It also held tales that some found familiar from the ancient ballads that had persisted in the Southern Appalachians.


Mummers’ Play performed in New Laurel House. Photograph by Arthur Dodd. early 1940s. [christmas_1006.jpg]

The Mummers’ Play: DESCRIPTION

A Mummers’ Play was generally a group or troupe effort. Comprised of actors, generally male, the play allowed considerable room for theatrics. The characters — and there were many — had very specific roles to fulfill. Old Father Christmas was one of the most important but all characters, such as St. George and the various kings, especially Old King Cole, figured prominently in the plot.

Morris Dancers and Sword Dancers were also found frequently in the play as were villains, such as the Devil or Beelzebub and generally a Fool with a series of Fool sons. The sons of the Fool had such catchy names as “Pickle Herring,” “Blue Britches,” “Ginger Britches,” “Pepper Britches,” and “Mr. Allspice.” The play is a fast-moving romp that combines the best of Morris Dancing with mountain humor. At Pine Mountain Settlement School the favorite play had two versions. Both are included in the GALLERY below.

Also known as “Mummering,” the play was meant to be performed in the street or at least in various locations. As a movable stage, the play was ideal to transport about the campus from one location to another. Most frequently, however, the play was performed in Laurel House — both old Laurel House and the new Laurel House.

The Mummers’ Play: ORIGINS

The roots of the play go back to medieval times and apparently began in various carnivals and church fairs in many different countries, say many definitive sources for “Mummering.” Evelyn K. Wells, a long-time staff worker at Pine Mountain, seems closer to the truth in her well-researched book, The Ballad Tree (1950). She reminds us that the origins of the Mummers’ plays are probably an outgrowth of the pagan rites surrounding the solstice or other pagan rituals associated with agricultural cycles. She links the plays to the Robin Hood tale and to the heathen calendar between winter solstice and spring solstice. The Robin Hood character went on to become its own story, and the dancers, she tells us, developed the sword dancing to a fine art in the north of England, with handkerchief and stick dancing in the midlands. [Wells, p. 20]

Whatever the origins, the play is firmly associated with the Christmas season and became a favorite of the School.


1928 Version of the Mummers’ Play. [christmas_1004a.jpg]

The Mummers’ Play: PINE MOUNTAIN

The Pine Mountain plays clearly pull their characters right out of the Old English, Scotch, and Irish versions of the troupe plays and retain many of the same characters and “plots.” Generally, the plots revolve around some form of miraculous healing by a quack. Part poetry, part ballad, part mountain vernacular humor, the Pine Mountain mummers’ plays were a favorite at the School during the Christmas season.

Though many in the audience may have found threads to the stories and ballads they had heard in their homes, the play needed an introduction and a Herald was assigned this task. At the beginning of the second version of the play, the Herald announces the play and unrolls a scroll that describes the origin of the Mummers’ Play for the audience:

The Mummers’ Play comes from an old custom carried on in middle ages and later times, of the country people of England, France, and Germany. They went about at Christmas time to the homes of rich lords and ladies, who were banqueting and feasting, and joined in the festivities, or else gave their little play, and then were given food and money by the household which they entered. In order to conceal their identity, and to make the play more amusing, they wore masks representing different animals, characters from familiar stories, and historic heroes. 

In England the St. George play was most familiar, and in this play the masks permitted so much riotous action that Henry VIII forbade the wearing of masks. But the play at its simplest was an amusing entertainment of masked men representing some popular heroes — famous kings, Jack the Giant Killer and the Giant, St. George and the Dragon and finally, Father Christmas. 

It is this play which will be presented tonight. (blows trumpet) …


Georgia Ayers as the Dragon in a 1930s version of the Mummers’ Play [Overdrawn]. [christmas_1004.jpg]

Mummer’ Play, c. 1940s

The Mummers’ Play: POETRY

In many ways the plays are early forms of Rap, as the rhyming poetry often suggests an underlying moral tale beneath all the frolicking. For example, when the Devil and Little Devil Dout enter they declare,

In come I, old Beelzebub
On my shoulder I carry a club
In my hand a dripping pan
Don’t you think I’m a jolly old man?

In come I, little Devil Dout
If you don’t give me money, I’ll sweep you out
Money I want, and money I crave,
If you don’t give me money, I’ll sweep you to the grave.

Like buskers on the streets of old, the troupe at the end of the play demand money from the on-lookers but then gentle the demand by allowing all to keep their gold if they will but give up their silver — a Christmas gift from the merry troupe.

God All mighty bless you hearth and fold,
Shut out the wolf, and keep out the cold.
You give us silver, keep you the gold,
For ’tis money in your pocket, hold, men, hold!

The Mummers’ Play: PINE MOUNTAIN

The song, “Hold, Men, Hold” is central to both versions of the Mummers’ Play at Pine Mountain as are most of the same characters in both plays.

In the second play version someone has added a note about one performance where the over-zealous audience threw their offerings (pieces of broken glass, a drilled coin and other objects) a little too forcefully and there were injuries. Yet, better the Fools and the Dragons than the guns and the liquor that often accompanied the Christmases of the past.

On another note, the second play script has a very detailed inventory of costuming requirements for the play and until the boarding school ended, the costumes were used from year to year. The elaborate costuming follows the history of the School through the years when fetes and small plays were given for many occasions. Thanksgiving skits, Pilgrims and Indians, the white linen of May Day, the homespun of the Nativity Play, and the many renditions of Robin Hood, all required costuming.

The Mummers’ Play troupe had ample room for creative costuming. The Morris Dancers, however, wore the traditional white pants and white shirts with red sashes that crossed the chests of the dancers and often bells at the ankles. These costumes were the common costumes of the Morris Dancer and Sword Dancer and were also brought out for May Day dancing on The Green and for other occasions.

The Mummers’ Play was performed until the end of the Boarding School year and this abbreviated account from the 1948-49 Pine Cone by student Carlos Banks captures the action and fun of this play for both the students watching the play and those performing.

It is one of the customs at Pine Mountain for the boys at Far House to dramatize a Mummers’ Play as a part of the unique Christmas celebration at the school. This year the boys were fortunate to have Richard Chase with them to lend a hand in making the performance all the more successful.

Everybody had finished supper and had pushed his chair back to find a better position for himself about the stage which was formed by the moving of tables back to the pillars where the food is served in the dining room. All of a sudden there was a noise at the back door, and, when one of the girls seated there opened it, in came the fool, asking first if he might. Following the fool, there were Father Christmas, King Alfred with his bride on his arm, Big Head (his head being nothing more or less than a bushel basket properly draped), and then Devil Dout. started to speak but was pushed aside and thus silenced by the fool that Pickle Herring could recite his part. Pickle Herring was in the process of introducing his sons before he fully realized that they were nowhere to be seen. He called them each by name, whereupon they came in, one by one, tumbling and turning somersaults. Once on the stage they lined up rigidly and bowed together, to the delight of the audience. 

Saint George was the next to speak and he called for the Morris Men. The Morris dancers entered, bells on their feet and batons in their hands, to do the difficult steps of their dance. 

At the conclusion of the dance the silence was broken by the roar of the dragon, and the mummers trembled with fear. The dragon stuck his head in where the rest of the entertainers were and roared and sniffed ferociously. He interrupted this roaring and sniffling long enough to make a speech about his claws and jaws. When he resumed his sniffing, the queen fainted dead away. Alarmed, King Alfred caught her in his arms and fanned frantically in an effort to revive her. The dragon continued his talking about “meat for the eat,” sniffed the shoes of the fool who was literally shaking in them. Heroically, Saint George stepped forward and with a few swift blows slew the dragon with his sword, and the clowns dragged the body away.

After the clowns had taken care of the dragon, they rushed over to revive the queen. In came the helpful fool with a bucket of water, which he promptly poured upon the prostrate body of the queen. With a gasp she came to, as the clowns dried her with towels. She regained her composure then and curtsied in thanks. 

“In come I, Old Bet, ugly as can be, and every man in the house must be kissed by me.” And in she did come and made straight for Mr. [Arthur] Dodd who shied away from her advances. Old Bet by the way, with all her unusual charm, nearly stole the show. 

Barleycorn was the next mummer to appear. After some deliberation the clown decided to do away with him. This they did and then found themselves remorseful. They called in the doctor, an obvious quack, to try to bring Barleycorn back to life. Then followed one of the most unusual operations ever witnessed anywhere. At length Barleycorn did come to life and was raised by the mummers on their swords. 

With a song by all that begged for money, the pennies were showered to the stage in appreciation for a few moments of hearty laughter that added much to the gayety (sic) of the Christmas festivities. Then after the scrambling to pick up the last coin was over, out trooped the mummers to devour a belated meal that was their just reward for job well done.

— Carlos Bank, Senior

GALLERY I: Mummers’ Play Photographs

GALLERY II: Mummers’ Play Scripts I & II


Mummers’ Play – Script I

[Cover and Pages 1-5] Script for “The Mummers Play” – :

list of 22 characters plus the Morris Men ; all enter singing ; each of the main characters introduces himself ; Pickle Herring reveals plot by him and his 4 brothers to kill their father, Fool ; Introductions, singing, dancing continue ; Fool rises up ; Doctor kills dragon ; Father Christmas introduces himself and sings ; all sing the chorus and dance out ;

Mummers’ Play – Script II

[Pages 1-3] “Action for the Mummers’ Play”

action should be spontaneous ; these are suggestions not rules ; instructions for entering stage ; list of characteristics of each player ; description of stage and dining room arrangement ; list of instructions for each character as play progresses ; instructions for throwing pennies by audience ;

[Pages 1- 4] “Costumes and Properties for the Mummers’ Play”

descriptions of each character’s costume ; makeup for each character ; item(s) that each character should carry ;

[Last Page] “Herald’s Part in mummers’ Play”

description of Herald’s actions ; script of his introductory speech ;


[The original documents are typewritten unless specified otherwise. The text in this transcription has been slightly edited for readability.]

Mummers’ Play – Script I


[printed by hand] The Mummers Play

[Page 1 – mummers_play_001]


Old Father Christmas
St. George
King Alfred
King Alfred’s Queen
King William
Old King Cole
The Turkish Knight
Captain Slasher
Giant Blunderbore
Old Doctor Ball
Little Jack
The Old Dragon
Morris Men (dance)
The Herald
Big Head

His sons —
Pickle Herring
Blue Britches
Ginger Britches
Pepper Britches
Mr. Allspice

Devil Doubt (sic)

All enter singing “Hold Men Hold”, and walk around the cleared space forming a semi-circle.

KING ALFRED and his QUEEN, arm in arm
I am King Alfred, and this here is my bride,
I’ve a crown on my pate, and a sword by my side.

I am King Cole, and I carry my stump.
Hurrah for King Charles: Down with Old Noll’s Rump!

I am King William of blessed memory,
Who came and pulled down the high gallow’s tree,
And brought us all peace and prosperity.

I am Giant Blunderbore, fee, fi, fum,
Ready to fight ye all, – so I says, “come”.

LITTLE JACK (moves up to side of Giant and Giant continues)
And this here is my little man Jack –
A bump and a thump and a whack on his back.
I’ll fight King Alfred, and I’ll fight King Cole,
I’m ready to fight any mortal soul;
So here I, Blunderblore, takes my stand,
With the little boy Jack at my right hand,
Ready to fight for mortal life. Fee, Fi, Fum!

Ah, but times is hard! I love to have money in both pockets.

You shall have it, old father.

Let me see it. Come Pickle Herring, Blue Britches, Ginger Britches, Pepper Britches, and Mr. Allspice.

(They all dance around in a circle.)

[Page 2 – mummers_play_002]

What is the matter now, father? Here is very bad news.

Very good news? I am glad to hear it: I do not hear good news every day.

P.H. – It is very bad news.

FOOL – Why what is the mattter now, boy?

P.H. We have concluded to cut off your head.

FOOL – I would not lose my son Pickle Herring for fifty pounds.

P.H. – It is your son Pickle Herring that must lose you. It is your head we desire to take off.

FOOL – My head? I never had my head taken off in all my life.

P.H. – You both must and shall.

FOOL – Hold, hold, boy, thou seem’st to be in good earnest; but I’ll tell thee where I’ll be buryed (sic).

P.H. – Why, where will you be buried but in a churchyard where other people are buried?

FOOL – Churchyard? I never was buried there in all my life.

P.H. – Why, where will you be buried?

FOOL – Ah, boy. I will be buried in Mr. Mirfin’s collar.

P.H. – It is such a place as I never heard talk of in all my life.

FOOL – He, nor nobody else, boy. (Fool kneels down and says:)
Now, gentlemen, you see how ungrateful my children is grown.
When I had them at home, small, about as big as I am, I put them out to good learning. I put them to coxcomb college, and then to the university of loggerheads. And I took them home again this good time of Christmas, and I examined them all one by one, altogether for shortness. And now they are grown so proud and presumptious they are a-going to kill their old father for his little means. So I must die for all this? Then I shall give the little something I have amongst you as far as it goes.

So, to my first son, Pickle Herring –
I’ll give him the roaned nag,
And that will make the rogue brag.

And to my second son – I’ll give him the brindled cow.

Add to my third son – I’ll give him the sanded sow and hope
I’ll please you all enow.

And to my fourth son – I’ll give him the great ruff dog, for he always lives like a hog.

And to my fifth son – I’ll give him the Ram, and I’ll die like a lamb.

(They kill him and drag him off)

[Page 3 – mummers_play_003]

I am the Turkish Champion
From Turkey’s land I come
I come to fight the King of England
And all his noble sons.

In come I, as ain’t been yet,
With my big head, and my little wit,
My head so big, my wit so small,
I’ll dance a jig to please you all.

In come I, old Beelzebub
On my shoulder I carry a club
In my hand a dripping pan
Don’t you think I’m a jolly old man?

In come I, little Devil Dout
If you don’t give me money, I’ll sweep you out
Money I want, and money I crave,
If you don’t give me money, I’ll sweep you to the grave.

In comes Captain Slasher
Captain Slasher is my name
With sword and pistol by my side
I hope to win the game.

I am St. George of Merrie England
Bring in the Morris men, bring in the band.

(Sword Dance – then St. GEORGE continues)

These are our tricks, ho, men, ho.
These are our sticks, – whack men, so.

(Strikes the dragon who roars and comes forward)

Stand on head, stand on feet
Meat, meat, meat, for to eat. (Tries to bite King Alfred)
I am the Dragon, here are my jaws:
I am the Dragon, here are my claws.
Meat, meat, meat for to eat!
Stand on my head, stand on my feet.

[Page 4 – mummers_play_004]

ALL sing: (Several times)
Ho, ho, ho, Whack men so.

I am the doctor, and I cure all ills,
Only gullup my portions (sic), and swallow my pills;
I can cure the itch, the stitch, the pox, the palsy, and the gout,
All pains within, and all pains without.
Up from the floor, giant Blunderbore! (Gives him pill)
Get up king, get up bride,
Get up fool, and stand aside.

(FOOL rises)

Well, well, my children, you are all mistaken
For here I find myself, I am not slain;
But I will rise, your sport then to advance
And with you all, brave boys, I’ll have a dance.

(He dances around)

Get up King Cole, and tell the gentlefolks all
There never was a doctor like Mr. Doctor Ball.
Get up, St. George, Old England’s knight.
You have wounded the dragon, and finished the fight.

(All stand aside but the dragon who lies in convulsions)

Now, kill the dragon and poison old Nick;
At Yule-tyde (sic), both o’ ye, cut your stick.

 (Doctor forces a large pill down dragon’s throat, who thereupon roars, and dies in convulsions.)
ALL crowd around to see him die.

I am Father Christmas! Hold, men, hold.
Be there loaf in your locker, and sheep in your fold,
A fire on your hearth, and good luck for your lot,
Money in your pocket, and pudding in the pot.

(He sings)

Hold, men, hold.
Put up your sticks,
End all your tricks,
Hold, men, hold.

[Page 5 – mummers_play_005]

Chorus – ALL sing.

Hold, men, hold:
We are very cold,
Inside and outside,
We are very cold.
If you don’t give us silver,
Then give us gold
From the money in your pocket,
Hold men, hold.


God All mighty bless your hearth and fold,
Shut out the wolf, and keep out the cold.
You give us silver, keep you the gold,
For ’tis money in your pocket, hold, men, hold!

(All dance out on Cho[rus])

Mummers’ Play – Script II

[Page 1 – mummers_play2_001]

Action for the Mummers Play

The action of the mummers play should be spontaneous, and should vary with every group and every presentation, and will. However these suggestions are ones which have been rather effective, and are to give an idea rather than any cast iron rules or traditions. They have come out of past inspirations from the boys themselves, and with them in mind perhaps it will be easier for the director of the play to arouse interest which will lead to spontaneous acting.

Entrance — All march in single file singing Hold Men Hold chorus over and over until arranged in semi-circle. Each character does something in character on the way in. In the past we have had something of the following:

Papa Fool skips in turning somersalts (sic)
Pickle Herring hits him with stick and bothers him
Ginger and Pepper britches skip arm in arm — they are very loving all the way through
Blue Britches gallumps (sic) on hobby horse
Little Jack annoys giant, makes faces, mocks giant.
Queen on King Alfred’s arm
Cole holds stomach, waddles
Turkish Champion dignified
King William benign, very smug
Beelzebub slinks in sideways, grinning
Devil Dout pokes B. with trident
Dragon lolls in and goes to sleep at once
Slasher carries peg leg until he gets in circle or else drops out of line. He is too slow walking on leg to keep up.
Christmas retires to stairs until his cue.

Line forms on stair steps, with Dr. Ball first. Herald runs out and gives announcement.

Stage has been arranged for three years on kitchen side of dining room. Foot lights laid on floor and tables grouped in the rest of the dining room cabaret style. Mummers tables are set to one side. They have dinner afterward. The tables should be farther away from the stage next year as there will be better distance for throwing pennies.

Herald blows horn. Mummers enter singing, form semi-circle.

[Names of characters are hand-printed along a drawing of a half circle from left to right]
Devil Dout
Capt. Slasher
Big Head
King William
Turkish Champion
King Cole
St. George
Ginger Britches
Blue Britches
Pickle Herring
Dr. Ball

[Page 2 – mummers_play2_002]

Page 2 Action cont.

King Alfred walks to front, bride clinging to right arm, smiling coyly. Both bow to audience. Alfred introduces bride who makes courtesy (sic) to him. He strikes top of head (crown on my pate) and thigh (sword at my side)

King Cole — waddles to front, waves stump like basketball yell leader, then waddles back.

Giant Blunderbore — Flourishes axe. Little Jack follows close behind. Giant pulls him out from between legs (this here is my little man Jack) then knocks him down (twack on his back). He continues to boast, and Jack ties string around legs. At the last “fee fi fum” Giant starts back to circle, feet are caught by string and he falls down.

Fools all rush up to make fun of him. Giant waves axe and they fly back to the circle except Papa Fool who stays in center for “Times is hard”

When Jack says “you shall have it” he pretends to put money in the old man’s pockets — elaborate pantomime of pulling out pockets.

Papa Fool calls sons and all do ring-around -a-rosy. In summoning sons each does something characteristic as he jumps forward to answer. In the end “Blue Britches” Papa Fool whirls Blue B. around and spanks him.

They do ring-around-a-rosy, then Papa Fool sneezes [?] and they all fall down. The sons get up, appear to plot together with appropriate gestures of cutting off heads, then pick up their father and line up single file, one behind the other, facing him with Pickle Herring at head of line. In every case Blue B. is the stupid one. He never understands and sons make gestures one to the other and back to him every time.

P.H. and Papa Fool do cutting off head part with pantomime. Papa embraces P.H. (I wouldn’t lose my son, etc.)
Finally gets on knees and sobs and cries — bawls.
brindle cow — that son moos
sanded sow — that son imitates pig
rough dog — imitates dog.
Papa Fool puts head over Blue B. back and fools steel giant’s axe, kill him and he baas like lamb. Falls dead. They drag him over to one side and the show goes on.

Turkish Champ

Big Head — dances a jig

Beelzebub leers all around at circle and audience

Devil Dout — at the end fools are all creeping up with curiosity and he sweeps at them on “sweep you to the grave” — they fly back to the circle

Capt. Slasher — comes out on peg leg and goes back on it. The rest of the time he carries it in one hand

St. George — introduces self and calls Morris men. After dance he says “these are our sticks”, etc., pokes dragon who wakes up, roars. “These are my claws — meat” — jumps at Alfred, bride faints as Alfred tries to get behind her. At last “meat for to eat” dragon jumps at fools, gets hold of Ginger, other fools hold onto his arm, and there is a tug of war, then dragon lets go

[Page 3 – mummers_play2_003]

They all fall down (all through this there is considerable roaring and shrieking) then Ginger and Pepper the twins embrace each other.

All begin to fight, fall on ground.

King Cole falls in a place where there is plenty of room on both sides for the fools to jump over his stomach.

Dr. Ball puts large pill in giant’s mouth, King Alfred and bride, then searches for Fool.

Fool stands up, sons act very frightened as if seeing a ghost. Leads dance over corpses, sons following in line. Comes to King Cole, can’t jump over, pulls back abruptly throwing all sons off balance, goes back, measures distance, tries again, pulls back, and this is repeated two or three times. Finally measures with care, jumps over, and is followed by all sons, Blue Britches at the end stumbling and falling headlong over Cole’s stomach.

“Now kill the dragon” — same to Beelzebub who dies in convulsions.

Father Christmas

Hold men hold — all in semi-circle sing chorus until pennies stop, then go out singing “God Almighty bless your hearth and fold”.
March out single file, and downstairs.

[handwritten] Have audience understand pennies should be thrown at hat or on floor — and nothing larger than a penny should be thrown. In 1943 a plate glass window and a pair of glasses (I believe were broken) and a boy’s head cut by a drilled coin.

[Page 1 – mummers_play2_004]

Costumes and Properties for the Mummers’ Play

King Alfred

green silk kimona worn backwards
red flannel cape worn back over shoulders
buckles on (his own) shoes
gold sash

make up with brown moustache and goatee

[property] silver crown sword [line drawing of a sword]


India print dress
black velvet cape
Slippers or shoes (his own) with buckles

Make up as beautiful lady

[property] small gold….crown [sketch of head and shoulders with wimple]

King Cole

Red striped shirt
basket ball bloomers
velvet cape
two pillows for stomach
bandages for pillows
[handwritten] Buckles

make up with red moustache and goatee
very red nose and cheeks

[property] large gold and red crown stump [line drawing of crown]

[handwritten] King William — cf p. 4

Giant Blunderbore

long gray surcoat
gray pants legs, with cross straps [line drawing of leg and shoe]
red sash

very dark make up, grey lines and circles, no lipstick

[property] battle axe

[Page 2 – mummers_play2_005]

Costumes for Mummers’ Play (2)

Little Jack

red blouse
black bloomers
blue socks
black bow tie
crepe paper collar

[property] string to tie giant’s legs

Papa Fool

red and green surcoat
green tights
red and green cap
red and green slippers

[property] gourd covered with red and green

Pickle Herring

fool’s cap
yellow and brown suit
reddish brown tights
wears his own socks over tights
[handwritten] turn down socks [line drawing of foot with sock]

[property] play pretty

Ginger Britches

reddish brown tights
fool’s cap
brown and yellow suit
wears his own socks

[property] stick with bells [handwritten]

Pepper Britches

stocking cap with red topknot
grey tights
brown and yellow suit
wears his own socks

[property] play pretty]

Blue Britches

stocking cap with blue topknot
brown and yellow suit
blue tights
wears his own socks

[property] hobby horse

[handwritten in margin] Fools’ properties may be interchanged if desired.

Turkish Champion

flowered robe with red and black sleeves
green Turbane (sic) with in
green sash
two white pants legs each equipped with safety pins
[handwritten] collar?
[handwritten] make up dark brown all over.

[property] scimitar [line drawing of same]

[page 3 – mummers_play2_006]

Big Head

yellow pants [handwritten] and vest
black tights
yellow neckerchief
face painted on sheet, to be fitted over bushel basket.
[handwritten] wears his own socks; slippers (his own) with buckles

[property] Top Hat made of cardboard.


black tights
slinky black velvet cape
black head with horns
blak cambrid (sic) surcoat with two pairs black stockings for arms
black satin waist band

make up with either black or scarlet face or sometimes we have made chalk white face

[property] dripping pan, club

Devil Doubt (sic)

red blouse
red tights
wears his own socks, red if possible
red hood with horns
red sash

make up with red face

[property] trident

Captain Slasher

uniform blue pants
uniform blue coat
cock hat
wears his own white shirt
[handwritten] red sash

make up with battle scars
[handwritten] patch over eye

[property] peg leg, sword [line drawing], pistol

St. George

Helmet with plumes
Grey surcoat with red cross
grey tights
grey socks
red cape
[handwritten] belt to go thru holes, under cross & over garment.
[handwritten] leg pieces, if desired; (a guard on front & back) [2 line drawings of leg with pieces]

make up with goatee — handsome

[property] long sword


green suit, check carefully for it is in tatters

make up with red face

[Page 4 – mummers_play2_007]

Dr. Ball

Top hat (from costume room) [handwritten] or derby
black swallow tail coat
grey pants

make up as old man with wrinkles

[property] sachel (costume room), spectacles, pills

Father Christmas

red Santa Claus face
red robe
something that jingles or borrow bell

[property] (coat with sequins can be used)


green hat with feather
red silk cape
green tunic with device

[property] scroll

Morris dancers

eight red sashes [handwritten] — white shirts & pants

[handwritten] King William —

[last page – mummers_play2_008]

 Herald’s Part in Mummers’ Play


(Stands in center of stage and unrolls scroll)

The Mummers’ Play comes from an old custom carried on in middle ages and later times, of the country people of England, France and Germany. They went about at Christmas time to the houses of rich lords and ladies, who were banqueting and feasting, and joined in the festivities, or else gave their little play, and then were given food and money by the household which they entered. In order to conceal their identity, and to make the play more amusing, they wore masks representing different animals, characters from familiar stories, and historic heroes.

In England the St. George play was most familiar, and in this play the masks permitted so much riotous action that Henry VIII forbade the wearing of masks. But the play at its simplest was an amusing entertainment of masked men representing some popular heroes, — famous kings, Jack the Giant Killer, and the Giant, St. George and the Dragon and finally, Father Christmas.

It is this play which will be presented tonight.

(Blows on trumpet)

(Shouts — The Mummers!—)

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Christmas at Pine Mountain Settlement School GUIDE