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"This is a Mummers' play I wrote": Modern compositions and their implications

By Peter Millington


It seems that may people feel compelled to rewrite folk plays. Working with a large sample of composed and adapted texts, the apparent personal and cultural motivations of these wannabe folk playwrights are explored. More specifically, this study examines the textual characteristics of the rewritten plays in an attempt to determine what it is that makes the authors think that they have written a mummers' play. These features are then compared with a historical database of “authentic” Quack Doctor plays. It is suggested that similar processes and criteria have existed throughout the history of the plays, and may indeed have been the prime factor in their evolution

Year: 2003
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