Symposium Programme 2011

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The Mummers Unconvention Symposium 2011 – Held on Friday 18th November

Theme ‘Aspects of Performance’

One day Symposium as part of the

Bath International Mummers Unconvention

This was ann opportunity for folk play practitioners and researchers to share their work. The Friday of the Unconvention was designed to encourage that to happen.

Symposium Theme: ‘Aspects of Performance’

Friday 18th November 9am till 5.30. 

Venue: Burdall’s Yard, 7a Anglo Terrace, London Road, Bath  BA1 5NH

The symposium was hosted by the Department of Performing Arts at Bath Spa University.

We were particularly interested in all aspects of the contemporary performance of mumming and guising, allowing for the ways in which local histories may or may not have shaped those performances.

To what extent are performances guided or driven by the calendar? Are performances associated with other special events? How do we/they find or write texts, cast, rehearse, and establish styles of performance, costumes and disguises? How do performers arrive at their contexts, venues, locations, and arrange itineraries of performance? How are performances publicised? How do people know they are happening, and who comes to see them?

What do we know about the specific and localised histories of particular traditions? Has the interplay of folklore, anthropology and performance studies influenced the way in which we think about and practice mumming and guising? Are there connections to be made between mumming and new performance forms?

To what extent might we consider mumming performances to be site-specific and/or possessed of ‘mobile geographies’? Do we have ethnography of spectatorship? Do we have ethnography of performers and performance?

Symposium Programme


Symposium Leaders

Prof. Peter Harrop      (University of Chester)

Dr Peter Millington     (University of Nottingham)

Prof. Mike Pearson     (University of Aberystwyth)

We would like to thank our hosts, Bath Spa University for their generosity and assistance in staging this symposium.

Bath International Mummers Unconvention

Symposium Programme

Friday November 18th 2011

Bath Spa University, Burdall’s Yard, London Road, Bath

9.00 – 9.30 Coffee and registration

9.25 – Introduction by Steve Rowley

9.30 – 10.50 – Panel One: Mumming/Theatre/Performance

  • Tom Brown ‘Six actors I’ve brought’
  • Bill Tuck ‘Experiments in the reconstruction of early 18th century English pantomime’
  • Mike Pearson ‘TheMarshfieldPaper Boys’

Chair: Peter Harrop

10.50 – 11.15 Coffee

11.15 – 12.35 – Panel Two: The New World?

  • Lynn Lunde ‘Illegal acts in disguise: Mumming as a component of collective social action in 19th centuryNewfoundland’
  • Steve Rowley ‘Bajan Mummers – Have they lost the plot?’
  • Peter Millington and Caspar James ‘Mummies and Masquerades: English and Caribbean Connections’

Chair: Mike Pearson

12.35 -2.15 – Lunch and Stands – introductions and displays from:

  • Performance of a Commedia-based mummers play by the students of Bath Spa University.
  • Doc Rowe: Archive Film
  • Ron Shuttleworth: Morris Ring Folk-plays Archive
  • Duncan Broomhead: Traditional Drama Research Group
  • Peter Millington: MasterMummers.Org

2.15 – 3.35 – Panel Three: Contemporary Mumming

  • Graham Clarke ‘Guisering today on the Derbyshire/Nottingamshire border’
  • Roger Duncan ‘Rockness Mummers play: Performed by the people of Rockness for the people of Rockness’
  • Gavin Skinner ‘An illustrated talk concerning the Brunel play’

Chair: Peter Millington

3.35 – 4.30 – Tea and conversation

  • Steve Rowley in conversation with Hat City Mummers (USA) and Bal de Malcasats (Spain)

4.30 – 5.30 – Plenary session with Doc Rowe, Peter Harrop, Mike Pearson, Steve Rowley, and Peter Millington

Chair: Dunja Njaradi

Download a copy of this programme