Mummers prepare for 42nd Christmas performance

The World Famous Ashdown Mummers
The World Famous Ashdown Mummers

This year sees The World Famous Ashdown Mummers’ 42nd Christmas performance of their Traditional Sussex Mummers’ Play.

Known internationally for their performances of a traditional Sussex Mummers play just before each Christmas, they conclude their 2014 season with a two-day tour of popular Sussex pubs.

Shows take place on Saturday and Sunday, December 20 and 21.

The traditional play features the well known characters of St George, the Turkish Knight, Beelzebub, Old Father Christmas and the Doctor, plus many more.

This year there will be nine performances, each in front of the main bar:

Saturday, December 20:

12pm, Red Lion, Turners Hill.

1pm, The Royal Oak, Newick.

2pm, Laughing Fish, Isfield.

7pm, The Hatch, Colemans Hatch.

8.30pm, The Coopers Arms, Crowborough.

9.30pm, The New Inn Hadlow Down.

Sunday, December 21:

12pm, The Crown, Groombridge.

1pm, The Anchor, Hartfield.

2pm, Foresters Arms, Fairwarp.

The Ashdown Mummers first performed their Sussex Mummers play after a copy of a script was discovered in the old East Grinstead library.

Members of Ashdown Forest Morris Men and friends performed the play in various pubs in and around East Grinstead at Christmas 1973, and have performed the play every year since.

A dance was added to the play and this led to regular performances of less usual dances, including dances in the traditional Border Morris style. Visit www.mummers.org.uk to find out more.