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Nashville School of the Arts Mummer’s Play

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illustration ©2016 Veronika Gadjosova

illustration ©2016 Veronika Gadjosova

Part of a series of articles on
Preparing a School Winter Solstice Performance

Nashville School of the Arts Mummer’s Play
compiled by Walter Bitner from original sources
and from an original play by Walter Bitner & Jody Kruskal1995

Cast:

Fool
Father Christmas
Johnny Jack
Hobby Horse
Dragon
Mayor
Saint George
Doctor
Townspeople

 *       *       *

Fool

Room, room, make room,
NSA friends and families all!
Pray, give us room to rhyme!
We come to show activity
In this glorious wintertime!
Activity of youth!
Activity of age!
Such activity as you’ve never seen on stage.

(singing)

Though some of us be little,
And some of a middle sort,
We all desire your favor,
To see our pleasant sport!

Step in, Father Christmas!

Father Christmas

In comes I, Old Father Christmas
Welcome or welcome not.
I hope Old Father Christmas
Will never be forgot!

Christmas comes but once a year
But when it comes, it brings good cheer!
Roast beef! Plum pudding!
Wassail! And mince pie!
Who likes that better than I ?!

Though they call me ‘Old’ Father Christmas,
I have but a short time to stay.
I’ve come to bring pleasure, and pastime,
Before I go away.

Walk in, Johnny Jack I say!
And tell us… what are we doing here today?

Johnny Jack

(Sweeping the stage)

In comes I, poor Johnny Jack
With me wife and me family on me back.
My family’s large, and I am small.
I’ve brought my broom to sweep your hall.

Fool

That’s my broom!

(Fool and Johnny Jack struggle over broom.)

(Father Christmas steps in, takes broom.)

Johnny Jack

(sniffing)

Roast beef! Plum pudding!
Wassail! And mince pie!
Who likes that better than Old Father Christmas and I ?!

Father Christmas

Nobody!

Fool & Johnny Jack

(singing)

Fal de ral, de riddle al de rey do,
Fal de ral, de riddle al de rey!
Fal de ral, de riddle al de rey do,
Fal lal lal lal riddle al de rey!

Twenty, eighteen, sixteen, fourteen,
Twelve, ten, eight, six, four, two, none!
Nineteen, seventeen, fifteen, thirteen,
‘Leven, nine, seven, five, three and one!

Fal de ral, de riddle al de rey do,
Fal de ral, de riddle al de rey!
Fal de ral, de riddle al de rey do,
Fal lal lal lal riddle al de rey!

Fool

Come in, come in, thou Hobby Horse!

Hobby Horse

(enters clapping coconut halves to emulate hoofbeats)

Over mire, and over moss,
In comes I, the Hobby Hoss!

Make room, make room, my boys and gals,
Pray give me room to rhyme.
I’ve come to show activity
This merry winter time.

A dragon you shall see!
A wild worm for to flee!
Come in, come in, thou dragon stout!
And take thy compass round about!

Dragon

I am the dragon,
Here are my jaws!

(Mummers cower)

I am the dragon,
Here are my claws!

If I could meet Saint George here,
I’d make him tremble and shake with fear!
I’d cut him!  I’d slash him as small as flies!
And send him to Jamaica to make into mince pies!

Fool & Johnny Jack

Mince pies hot!  Mince pies cold!
Send him to Jamaica in nine days old!

Mayor

We have a dreadful problem here:
This dragon has us all in fear.

(Mummers, Townspeople boo)

But as your Mayor I promise you:
To find a champion bold and true
To rid our town of this foul beast
Who on our friends and family feasts.

Dragon

I flatly deny these charges made!
I only eat popcorn and lemonade…

Townspeople

Liar! Not true! (etc.)

Dragon

For breakfast!

And if I ate a person or two…
Why, it’s more for me and less for you!

Townspeople

Saint George!  Where’s our hero?  We need him!  We need Saint George!  (etc.)

(trumpet fanfare.  Enter Saint George)

Saint George

In comes I, Saint George!

(Townspeople cheer)

From Britain I did spring!
I am the darling of the land,
I play checkers with the King!

Hobby Horse

(aside)

He usually loses!

Saint George

This dragon here who troubles you
Will not withstand my derring-do!
Be gone, foul worm!

(Dragon moves closer to Saint George)

Dragon

My body’s made of iron!
My head is made of steel!
My claws are made of beaten brass!
No man can make me feel!

Saint George

Dragon-slaying is what I do!
Hey look!  You forgot to tie your shoe!

(Dragon starts to look down, then catches himself)

Dragon

A trick that old won’t work on me,
I wrote that line in 1903!

Saint George

Prepare yourself to meet your maker!
I’ll prove to you that I’m no faker!
En garde!

(They fight.  Saint George displays his sword, the Dragon his tail.)

(after a few passes)

Dragon

(To audience)

With just one blast of my fiery breath,
I send Saint George to meet his death.

(Dragon breathes on Saint George)

Saint George

That’s mighty warm, his breath.  It reeks!
But I haven’t brushed my teeth in weeks!

Hobby Horse

He never brushes them!

(Saint George breathes on Dragon, Dragon faints.)

And the winner of today’s match is: Saint George!

(Hobby Horse holds up Saint George’s hand.)

(Townspeople cheer, hug, etc.)

(Then…)

Townsperson 1

I thought the dragon was really bad.
But now he’s dead, it makes me sad.

Townsperson 2

Last winter when my fire went out,
He warmed my house with his red hot snout.

Townsperson 3

He ate a few of us, I admit.
But I didn’t like them one little bit.

Mayor

Poor old dragon.  Holy cow!
Who’s gonna bring in the tourists now?
Is there no one here who can cure our dragon?
There’s something wrong, his tail ain’t waggin’!

Doctor!  Is there a doctor in the house?!

(Townspeople call for the Doctor.)

Townspeople

A penny for a doctor…
A nickel for a doctor…
A dollar for a doctor…
A brand-new ‘A Spring Concert’ CD for a doctor…

Doctor

Here I am, John Brown
The best quack doctor in this town.

Mayor

How cam’st thou to be a doctor?

Doctor

By my travels!

Mayor

Where have you traveled?

Doctor

Italy, Spitaly, France, and Spain,
Germany, Iceland and back again!

Mayor

Can you cure our dragon?

Doctor

Your dragon’s dead? Well, mercy me!
Curing dragons is my specialty!

Take these here: my pills.
They cure the young, the old,
The hot, the cold,
The living and the dead.

What the devil’s the matter here?

Fool

Our dragon’s dead seven minutes,
Can you cure him?

Doctor

If he’s dead seven years I can cure him!

Mayor

Pray, doctor: what sort of diseases can you cure?

Doctor

The ‘all sorts’!

Mayor

What’s the ‘all sorts’?

Doctor

All sorts of diseases,
Whatever you pleases!

I am the doctor that can cure all ills;
Only gobble my potions and swallow my pills!
I can cure the itch, the stitch, palsy, and gout,
All pains within and pains without.

Mayor

(aside)

He must be a clever doctor.

(to Doctor)

You’d better try your skill.

Doctor

Thank you sire, and that I will.

(to Dragon)

Come, fellow!  Raise up your head!

Johnny Jack

That ain’t his head!

Doctor

What is it then?

Johnny Jack

That’s his stomachs!

Doctor

Let him take a drop of my inkum-pinkum
Mixed up with cats-feathers!

A drop in his eye,
A drop in his nose,
And a drop in his mouth.
Any better , old fellow?

Hobby Horse

You silly man!
The dragon never stirs!

Doctor

No bet!  I quite forgot!
I have taken the right cork off the wrong bottle!
I have a little bottle in my inside-outside pocket
Which I call the okum-pokum!

A little drop on his forehead,
A drop on his heart,
Rise up again!
And take thy part!

Hobby Horse

That’s not cured the man!

Doctor

Wake up dragon and heed my station,
Or else you’ll ruin my reputation!

Mayor

Well, Doctor?  He’s a long time coming back to life.

Fool

Stand aside…

I’ll raise the dragon from the dead.
The cure’s in the heart, not in the head.
Will a child stand forth, innocent and pure,
To kiss the dragon and effect the cure!

(Fool brings a volunteer from the audience to kiss the Dragon.)

(Dragon wakes up.)

Dragon

What a dream I just had!

I dreamt I was a fierce and terrible dragon
Who liked to eat people for dinner!
But now after my near-death experience,
I’ve become a vegetarian.

I sure am hungry after my long sleep.
Anybody got a veggie-burger?

(sings)

Good morning everyone!
A-sleeping I have been.
And I’ve had such a sleep,
As the likes has never seen.

All

But now he is awake.
Alive unto this day!
Let the choir sing a carol,
And the Doctor take his pay!

(Morris Team enter, dance.)

End.

Walter Bitner, October 2006
Revised for NSA November 2012

Compiled from original sources by Walter Bitner
and from an original play by Walter Bitner & Jody Kruskal

©1995 Walter Bitner & Jody Kruskal
©2006, 2012 Walter Bitner

Click here to download this script as a PDF:
Nashville School of the Arts Mummer’s Play

This play is free to copy, distribute and amend for educational purposes;
please credit Walter Bitner & Jody Kruskal as the original authors.

Traditional mummer's play closing song

*       *       *

Preparing a School Winter Solstice Performance:

Christmas in July <– START HERE

Personent Hodie

The Boar’s Head Carol

In Dulci Jubilo

The Hallelujah Chorus

In Comes I: The Student Mummer’s Play

We Come To Show Activity: Producing a Student Mummer’s Play

Fieldston Outdoors Mummer’s Play

Nashville School of the Arts Mummer’s Play

The Feast of Stephen

The Feast of Stephen: The Script


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