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Tara Bradbury
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Mummer’s Festival continues this weekend with youth production of traditional play

King George, the Villainous Knight, Pickedy Wick and all their friends will bring the mummering tradition alive this weekend, thanks to a group of young theatre students.

MAX Theatre kids (from left)  Elizabeth Clarke, Claire Donnan, Jenny Mallard, Ryan Aspell, Caitlin Harte will appear in “The Old Mummers’ Play” at The Rooms Sunday afternoon. — Submitted photo

A dozen members of MAX’s theatre program, ages nine to 17, will perform “The Old Mummers’ Play” at The Rooms Sunday afternoon, with shows at 2:30 and 3:30, under the direction of Julia Halfyard and Tim Matson.

“The mummers play, in one form or another, has been performed in communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador for over a hundred years,” Halfyard said in a written statement. “In many forms, it is a hero combat play, where King George fights the forces of evil. And if someone gets cut down, have no fear, there is generally a doctor nearby with a bag full of tricks, ready to revive a fallen character.”

The students have been working with Halfyard and Matson to explore old plays from Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Participating in the mummers play not only gives our students a wonderful and unique performing opportunity, but it also puts them in touch, in a first-hand way, with the heritage and traditions of our province.”

Presented in co-operation with the provincial heritage foundation’s Intangible Cultural Heritage program, the play is one of many mummering events scheduled for the next week, as the annual Mummers Festival continues. A hobby horse workshop will happen at the Victoria Park Poolhouse today from 1-5 p.m., while an ugly stick workshop will be held at the same time and place on Sunday.

“A Night of Mumming” with Northern Ireland’s Armagh Rhymers — one of Europe’s most celebrated folk theatre troupes — will take place at The Rooms Tuesday evening from 7- 8:30, and on Wednesday, the Armagh Rhymers will present a show and discussion in The Rooms Theatre from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The festival will end with the Mummers Parade and scuff ’n’ scoff Dec. 14. The parade starts at Bishop Feild Elementary School at 2 p.m, and those wishing to participate can come an hour earlier to get dressed up.

More information on the Mummers Festival is available online at

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

Organizations: The Rooms Theatre, Bishop Feild Elementary School

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Northern Ireland, Europe

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