Mummers at Maddermarket Theatre

The Dragon Hall Mummers

The Dragon Hall Mummers were formed in 2007 by volunteers and members of staff who shared an interest in history, shouting, and the rich heritage of Norwich. They are part of the External Talks programme of the Dragon Hall Heritage Volunteers. We can bring our Mummers play to your venue – an excellent entertainment for your party or function, especially at Christmas. We have performed at Strangers' Hall, the Maddermarket Theatre courtyard, for various local history societies and of course at Dragon Hall.

Our current production: ‘St George and the Dragon’

Delving back in time when agricultural workers went about the countryside performing a Mummers play in return for food, drink and money, the Dragon Hall Mummers bring you their colourful revival of a popular story. In this entertaining excursion into an almost forgotten folk custom you will marvel at a Royal Personage, the Lady of the House, a Bold Slashing Man, some Sniveling, quite a bit of Boasting, a Lament, a Dance of pleasing brevity, Songs, a Fight to the Death involving our hero St George, and his Miraculous Recovery through the administration of Nip Nap by the Doctor.

The Dragon Hall Mummers would like to make it known that they have bowed to public pressure: they are presently resting. Fans of alternative (to) theatre and high class mummery should watch this space.

Booking the Mummers

Additional option

As an addition to the play we also have available a fascinating Powerpoint presentation: ‘Mummers, Mysteries and Mollies’ which explains where the Mummers came from, what they look like and how they relate to other rural customs, like the weirdly attired Molly Dancers of East Anglia.

More about Mummers plays

Mummers Plays are traditional English folk plays. They were performed mostly in rural areas at certain times of the year, such as Plough Monday and Christmas. Often they were an excuse for demanding money.

No one is sure how far back they go. They are sometimes confused with medieval mystery plays, and until recently it was widely believed that they were linked to ancient pagan fertility rites. We know that they were certainly around in the 18th century and the scripts were only collected once the plays disappeared, after the First World War. Unlike most rural areas Norfolk did not have a strong Mumming tradition.

Characters differ from place to place but the knockabout action always centres on a popular hero, defeated in combat, who is brought back to life by a quack doctor. Our hero is St George and is based upon a Mummers play from Norwich, put on by Maddermarket Theatre founder Nugent Monck in 1911. Like him we have borrowed from Mummers plays elsewhere and added our own comic action.