Green Man's Morris and Sword Club

Dances from the Cotswolds and Lichfield and Sword Dances from the North East of England

REVIVING THE BROMSGROVE MUMMERS' PLAY

On 13 December 2011, Green Man's Morris and Sword Club revived the Bromsgrove Mummers' Play for a performance at The Streetly Flower Club Christmas Party.

In addition to dancing and the Mummers' Play, stories, such as the one below the picture, were related by members of the side.

The picture below shows, from left to right;
Standing; Peter, Michael, Bob B, Colin and Bob T.
Kneeling; David E and Paul.

The Mummers

Philip Stubbes, famous for his The Anatomie of Abuses penned the following rant with the intent of encouraging the banning of dancing and singing in 1583;

First of all the wild heads of the parish conventioning, together, choose them a grand CAPITAINE (of mischief) whom they enoble with the title of  LORD OF MISRULE, and him they crown with great solemnity, and adopt for their King.
The King anointed, he chooseth twenty, forty, three score or a hundred LUSTY GUTTES like to himself, to wait upon his lordly majesty, and to guard his noble person.
Then every one of these men he investeth with his liveries of Green, Yellow or some other wanton colour. And as though they were not BAUDY enough, I should say, they bedeck themselves with scarves, ribbons, and laces, hanged all over with gold rings, precious stones and other jewels:
This done, they tie about either leg twenty, or forty bells with rich handkerchiefs in their hands, and sometimes laid across their shoulders and necks, borrowed for the most part from their MOPSIES AND LOVING BESSIES for busying them in the dark.
Thus, things set in order, they have their hobby horses, dragons and other antiques, together with their baudy  pipers and thundering drummers, to strike up the DEVIL’s DANCE withal, and then march these heathen company towards the church and churchyard, their pipers piping, their drummers drumming, their stumps dancing , their bells jingling their handkerchiefs swinging about their heads like madmen, their hobby horses and other monsters skirmishing amongst the throng: and in this sort they go to church ( though the Minister be at prayer or preaching) dancing and swinging their handkerchiefs over their heads, in the church, like devils incarnate , with such a confused noise that no man can hear his own voice.
Then the foolish people, they look, they stare, they laugh, they snigger, and mount on forms and pews to see these pageants, solemnised in this sort.