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March Mummers bring their fun play to town's pubs and libraries

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The March Mummers received lots of praise for keeping the up old tradition as they toured March Town Centre with their short play.

March Mummers toured the town to perform they special play. Photo Nick Stockman. (6174248)
March Mummers toured the town to perform they special play. Photo Nick Stockman. (6174248)

The local performers have been performing a play, which was put together from fragments of other ‘local’ plays in the 1960s, by Mike Herring of Peterborough Folk Club, in the town since December 2011.

Carol Clark, from Suffolk, who was visiting relatives in the town and saw the Mummer’s performance at The Acre, said: “It was the first time I have seen the play. It was fun, something different to watch.”

The March Mummers started their day with a performance at the Friends of March Library Christmas coffee morning. They then moved on to The Red Lion, Ye Olde Griffin Hotel Acre, The Acre and then The Ship. They also met up with Nicky Stockman of BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, who recorded a short piece for the station's Folk Show.

The performers this year, in order of appearance, were: Mike Thomas (Jim Jack), Keith Cheale (Musician), Malcolm Busby (The Fool), Rodney Crabb (Beelzebub), Marcus Phillips (King George), Stuart Broad (The Doctor) and Steve Cornell (Dame Jane).

They were also accompanied by their prompt Maureen James and collectors Kathy Cornell and Christine Crabb who enabled them to raise a total of £185 which has been passed to the March Summer Festival Committee, who organise the annual summer event.

The group was formed by Stuart Broad and Maureen James with the aim of recreating the past, having some fun and raising money for charity.

Mummers’ plays were once a common feature in rural areas at Christmas time. The performers, who were often plough boys, entertained audiences in pubs and big houses, as a way of gaining food, money or drink for the festive season.

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