"Guisers' and Mummers' Plays are short traditional verse sketches performed around Christmas and other calendar festivals, and taken round pubs and private homes in return for money and ale."
and, based on a text by Ellington Morris, Maidenhead,
Berkshire, and Wikipedia
"Mummers' Plays (also known as mumming) are seasonal folk plays performed by troupes of actors known as mummers or guisers originally from England and Northern Ireland but later in other parts of the world. The groups performing the play were normally from a village and each village had a slightly different version of the play. To most groups, mumming was a way of raising extra money for Christmas and the play was taken round the big houses, and sometimes performed in the street and in public houses.
Although the term 'mummers' has been used since medieval times, no play scripts or performance details survive from that era, and the term may have been used loosely to describe performers of several different kinds. Mumming may have precedents in German and French carnival customs, with rare but close parallels also in late medieval England.
Although usually broadly comic performances, the plays seem to be based on underlying themes of duality and resurrection and generally involve a battle between two or more characters, perhaps representing good against evil, or the death of the old year and the birth of the new.
The central incident is the killing and restoring to life of one of the characters; the hero sometimes kills and sometimes is killed by his opponent. The defining feature of mumming plays is the Doctor, who has a magic potion which is able to resuscitate a slain character.
It is not known how old the mumming play is, although contemporary references to it begin to appear in the mid-18th century. Mumming, at any rate in the South of England, had its heyday at the end of the nineteenth century and the earliest years of the 20th century. but it largely died out with the onset of the first world war. In the second half of the twentieth century many groups were revived, mostly by folk music and dance enthusiasts."
For yet more good background on Mummers plays visit Master Mummers, the website for performers and researchers of mummers', guisers' and other folk plays
The Quicksbottom play has been cobbled together from a variety of sources, including the Plough plays of the East Midlands of England, whence come such characters as the Recruiting Sergeant, Tom Fool, Dame Jane (RIP) and "the Lady, bright and gay"
We include attentions to the Yule Season, Boxing Day, Plough Play intimations and Apple Orchard Wassailing. A full West Coast basket of fun
You may engage us for private, and community parties and events. Orchards Wassailed, with or without the play. Introduce us to your pub, publican, it's patrons and pints!
You will find our play has changed a bit over time -
what a living tradition, and confusion - is all
Some video to get you by until you get to see us live!
December 2013 - Crashing, err, invited to a Victoria English Country Dance weekly dance evening [Vimeo]
To be placed on our last-minute e-mail notice list drop us a line[24 hour time? Yes, it's pretty straightforward and much quicker to write and understand compared to all that AMing and PMing. Take the time, say 1700, subtract (-) 2, (really 12, however who are we kidding) and you have . . . 5:00 p.m. Unambiguous too]