Tradition has it that Little Egypt's Boxing Day divides into 4 unequal parts:
- The Mustering at the Sign of the Squire
- The Dancing at the Sign of the Black Lion
- The Mumming at the Sign of the Cross of St George
- The Going Ahead at the Sign of the Cross-Dressing Morris
Almost as old as the tradition that the Morris Men of Little Egypt dance on Boxing Day at the Black Lion is the tradition
that the Stour Valley Mummers
(aka the "Stour Valley/Little Egypt Mummers" (for public liability insurance purposes)) make their annual appearance to perform
the age-told tale of Light and Dark.
Learn about the earlier activities of the Stour Valley/Little Egypt Mummers
The 2002 St Edmund Script created not a little interest.
Earlier in July 2007, with permission, it was reinterpreted at Kirton, near Felixstowe,
and the whole performance can be viewed
through this link.
The script for the 2007 Play, copyright Ruth Stephens and the Stour Valley/Little Egypt Mummers, may be downloaded here.
The author and SV/LEM hereby assert their intellectual rights, ownership, self-esteem, credit-worthiness and sanity, and would like to be informed of,
and would appreciate a mention and full credit in, any future performance.
The author and SV/LEM can accept no responsibilty
for any problems or damage caused by the downloading, opening, reproduction, practise or performance of this script, howsoever caused.
Any such performance is entirely at the actors' risk. In particular, but not exclusively, we can take no responsibility for damage or injury caused by Jukes-like over-acting.
Baggie Brian takes up the story once more:
After a pint or three it was time for the Mummers Play.
Written by Ruth along traditional lines, with topical references to the arrival in Glemsford of a Community Policeman
and the Great Pharmacy Debate, the cast comprised:
- Geoff as Room,
- Graham Father Christmas,
- Barbara Reindeer At His Side,
- Tommo and Hazel St George and Queen of Glemsford,
- Neville Landlord,
- Sir Jukes Bold Slasher the Egyptian Knight,
- Maggie Cleopatra his wife
- Terry as the Doctor, Jack the Quack.
Room room brave gallants give us room I say
And let us sport upon this winterís day ...
In comes I St George of England bold
Twas I who slew the dragon, took his gold
And rescued sixteen virgins from the slaughter
Including Glemsfordís royal daughter.
In comes I the landlord good
I keep fine beers and serve good food
A welcome warm awaits you all
If you think that weíll let you lot take over this fair land
Then think again you swarthy one and get back to your sand...
By George Iíll cut this saint to size
Iíll tear his limbs asunder
Oh mercy from the gods above
St George has murdered my true love
In cowardly display
Here come I good Doctor Jack
The local healer some say Quack
Iím famous here in all directions
For amputations and dissections
In comes I old Father Christmas!
With deeds of good I come at Christmastide
Dressed all in red with reindeer by my side
Some say I married well below my station
But look at her, imagine the temptation!!
In comes I bold Slasher, If you wonder why Iím here
Iím head of Cairo CID and I love inspiring fear
With this sword Iíll cut you and by it you shall die
Iíll pick you body full of holes and make your buttons fly
At this point there should be a picture of Cleo and Mrs Sinjorg scrapping, but it has been censored to
avoid contravening the Human Rights Act
Oh grief and woe, Iíd give my life
To see again my sweetest wife
Is there a doctor to be found can raise these persons from the ground?
But now that Iím restored I see
That George would be too much for me
Iím handing in my warrant card
These Englishmen are much too hard
Hoorah the power of beauty and of life
Has triumphed over death and darkness chill
Letís put an end to violence war and strife
And drink to Christmastide; our glasses fill
George and Slasher now are friends
So Winterís done and Spring will come again.
The audience showed its approval with laughter, cheering and booing - surprisingly in the right places!
It would seem that there were two extra cast members,
albeit without lines, but it would be desperately unkind (to all concerned) to leave them out of this report, so:
Then it was indoors for the Going Ahead.
Photographs, courtesy Brain "Baggie" Stephens and Robert "Hell-Boy" Farmer. Extracts from the script, courtesy of Ruth Stephens.
All items © 2007