Mummers taking to St Albans streets on Boxing Day

CHRISTMAS wouldn’t be Christmas in the city without the annual Boxing Day performances of St George and the Dragon by St Albans’ Mummers.

The play, which is performed at five different locations in the city centre, is a none-too-serious drama of life, death and resurrection with several ferocious battles, some cures unknown to medical science, poetry of less-than-Shakespearian quality and some very bad jokes.

As well as St George and the Dragon, the play also features the Lord of Misrule, the Queen of Egypt, a Giant, a Turkish Knight, a Doctor and old Father Christmas, taking a day off after his seasonal labours.

Audiences turn out in their hundreds to see the mummers each year – some third and fourth generations of the same family – and help preserve a 40-year tradition started when a group of friends wanted to revive the ancient custom of the mummers play.

Today’s play is at heart the same as it was then but every performance is different as the players include topical material and interact with the audiences.

The Mummers will be outside St Albans Town Hall at 11.30am, in the yard of the White Hart Hotel in Holywell Hill at 12.30pm at the West End of the Abbey at 1pm, outside the Olde Fighting Cocks at 1.45pm and by the Clock Tower at 2.30pm

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