Today in Stratford I discovered a group of frozen black faced Mummers rapping out a dance beside the Avon, outside the RSC Theatre. Apparently mummers did often black their faces, in an attempt to stay anonymous.
Only the night before I had been sitting watching A Winters Tale, with my friend Masha Vlassova and bemoaned the fact that you never see Morris Dancers.
It was a wonderful production of the play, with superb performances, especially Tara Fitzgerald as Hermione, Jo Stone-Fewings as Leontes and Rakie Ayola a really sparky Paulina. There are some strange surprises in this production but I won’t give them away.
Masha was delighted to catch up with one of her RADA pupils, Gavin Fowler, in the Dirty Duck after the show. Gavin had made a charismatic Florizel opposite the glorious Emma Noakes as Perdita.
I have to admit to liking the stage mummers better, with their joyful flowered hats. There was something a little bit sinister about the minstrel mummers, but I am still glad they are out there keeping the old traditions alive.