The Malarkey Mummers will be presenting a traditional English mummers play this holiday season for free, and you’re all invited.
These skits and short plays have been performed for centuries (and still are) all over Britain, and parts of North America as well, where they were introduced by immigrants. The play is generally performed around solstice, Christmas and New Years, and is all about good versus evil, dark versus light and death and rebirth.
Like most street theatre, verbal participation by the audience is encouraged. The plays are traditionally performed in pubs, private homes, at parties, door-to-door, and on the streets.
All these plays feature King George or St. George vs. the Evil Knight, along with a Doctor who revives the slain king. A number of other characters vary from play to play, and the plays themselves vary greatly from village to village or town to town as they evolved through the years.
The Malarkey’s version includes King George, representing all that is Good and Right, and the challengers, The Horny Dragon Biggus Dennis, and the antagonist Big King Donald. Other cast members are The Quack Doctor, Common Jack the working man, and Moll Finney, the old wise woman.
The Jester, along with the Guiser or Director, keep it all together. The play is called Bring the New Year In, and is a Pythonesque comedy, written by the play’s director, Summer Joy. It is solidly based on the traditional English plays, and is approximately 20 minutes long.
So come one, come all, and join the Malarkey Mummers at the free venues below for some good old-fashioned holiday merriment and cheer, including music, costumes, props, heroes, villains, shenanigans, revelry and mirth, and of course quite a bit of malarkey.
The show will perform on:
Saturday Dec. 16, 2 p.m. Shelter Point Distillery, Black Creek
Saturday Dec. 16, 6 p.m. Roy’s Towne Pub, Royston
Monday Dec. 18, 1 p.m. The Commons, Ironwood Mall, Campbell River
Friday Dec. 22, 7 p.m. Serious Coffee, Willow Point