The mumming play is a traditional dramatic entertainment in which a champion is killed in a fight and is then brought to life by a doctor. The play, with its theme of the death and re-birth, has links with primitive ceremonies held to mark important stages in the agricultural year.
It is not known how old the mumming play is, for contemporary references to it do not begin to appear until the late 18th century. It is possible that there was a common original play (now lost), which individual communities in the British Isles modified to their own use. It is likely that the basic story of death and resurrection was grafted onto an older game that stemmed from primitive ritual.
The Weston Mumming Play is an example of this genre.
More detailed information about seasonal plays along with some example scripts may be found on our links page.