Posted on 23/10/2012
First year students in 'Theatre & Culture', a key component of the department's new curriculum, will be reviving the English traditional drama known as mumming or the hero combat play in Egham this December. The last recorded mumming performance in Egham took place at the Beehive in 2002. Two groups of students will be creating their own new mummers plays based on traditional texts and techniques and taking these out to various locations around campus and Egham.
The project is intended to introduce the students to practice-led research and allow participants to consider the place of tradition in modernity and theatre as a forum for interaction. Postgraduate researcher and professional actor Mark Gowers, who is writing about his own experience of mumming in England as part of his PhD research, will be offering practical tuition to the students.
Matthew Cohen, professor international theatre and convener of 'Theatre and Culture' states, 'This is an exciting opportunity for our students to experience theatre in a new way. Mumming appears technically to be one of the most simple forms of theatre, but it offers real challenges in dealing with audiences in particular, and I hope will stimulate thinking about theatre as a form of culture.'