From the Archives
More rescued photos
As part of an ongoing mission to complete the historical record of the Morris Men of Little Egypt,
as far as it is possible,
old albums, assorted random negatives and loose photos have been raided,
and the results given the Little Egypt treatment,
so that they can be presented to a public, ever eager for more
information about such an important part of our cultural heritage.
At present, there seem to be only 2 photographs of the 1996 Cast.
Both are very similar, and were taken at the home of the Clarkes before the performances took place.
This is the better of the two.
The cast list was as follows (from left to right):
- Turkish Knight: Sir David Jukes (no typecasting there, then)
- St George/Sinjorj: Mark Mikurenda
- Dr Leech: Marilyn Clarke
(Equal Opps. Commission, please note)
- Father Christmas/Green Man: Steve Clarke
- Room: Ann Taylor
- Soldier Bold: Mike Hamilton
- Milkmaid Fair: Geoff Monk
(aka the Bearded Lady)
- Little Johnny Jack: Derek Southgate
1995 (we think)
The delirium which greeted the arrival of the Internet in Little Egypt meant that, in the early days of this site, the only photographs
that got online were the product of a very low-res early digital camera.
Have a look at 1997, if you want to know what I mean.
Since then, the development of scanners and associated technology, as well as our spending power, has made it possible to recover previously lost images.
These pictures are, I believe, from 1995, the second year that the Stour Valley Mummers took to the streets.
I believe, too, that they show the Boxing Day performance in the Black Lion.
As such they provide an important document
of Little Egypt's early years, and they also provide glimpses into the Lion, before its development and extension.
One of the thespian disciplines of performing at the Black Lion has always been the lack of space.
However much we
rehearsed sweeping sword fights and melodramatic deaths, it was always the case that the groundlings were so numerous and vociferous that
the only way we were likely to have any dramatic effect was to stand still and shout loudly.
Nothing daunted, we always succeeded in bringing the house down, along with the decorations, Nev's false boobies, my false beard, and several gallons of winter ale.
The Cast 0f '95:
Turkish Knight: Sir David Jukes
Dr Leech: Marilyn Clarke
Little Johnny Jack: Derek Southgate
The original Mumming in Little Egypt was very much the brainchild of Mark Mikurenda, who
provided the background knowledge and script which allowed us to take on board the tradition.
As the years developed so did our confidence with the idea behind the performance, and we began to adapt the traditional script to suit our own surroundings.
But even in the early days, there were clear signs of invention and individuality in the ad libs, the costume, the make up and the
It is now difficult to imagine Little Johnny Jack without conjuring up a picture of (the late) Derek Southgate,
in his smock, with his family (of rag dolls) strapped to his back, or Milk Maid Fair, either in the capable hands of Geoff Monk, or the outrageous
bosom of Nev, with massive balloons in place, long golden locks and, like as not, a beard.
Soldier Bold, too, took on a variety of forms - sometimes straight from the Somme trenches, sometimes the oilfields of Kuwait.
And the strange character of Room, the narrator, straight from the theatre of Ancient Greece, has also taken on many forms -
most notably, possibly, this 1995 incarnation in the hands of Mark, with his rags and braids and tatters.
St George/Sinjorj: John Proffitt
Father Christmas: Steve Clarke
Room: Mark Mikurenda
Milkmaid Fair: Neville Parry
(of the Big Boobies)
Soldier Bold: Ann Taylor
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