Nine local performers will take on interesting and eclectic roles in the upcoming performance of Jack in the Green, being hosted by Shelter Point Distillery this Saturday, May 26 at 2 p.m. The event is free and open to all.

Mummers malarky this weekend at Shelter Point Distillery

‘Our play … deals with evil vs good, dark vs. light, and cycles of death and rebirth’

Mummers plays have been performed for centuries (and still are) all over Britain, and parts of North America as well, where they were introduced by immigrants.

While not as commonly seen as the Winter plays, other seasonal plays are often performed at various times throughout the agricultural year, particularly the Pace Egg plays in May, which celebrate the return of fertility to the Earth (the word Pace relates to Easter).

Mumming plays were traditionally a form of begging, providing entertainment and merriment in exchange for food and drink, or in the case of the Pace Egging plays, in exchange for eggs and ale. They were also often associated with May Day celebrations, Maypoles, and Morris dancing.

And if you’ve never seen a mummers play, now is your chance, as Shelter Point Distillery is hosting a troupe of nine performers from Black Creek this Saturday, May 26, at 2 p.m. to perform Jack in the Green.

“Our play, like all mummers plays, deals with evil vs good, dark vs. light, and cycles of death and rebirth,” says Summer Joy, writer and director of the play. “These polar opposites take the form of Jack Frost and Jack Green, who both want to rule the Earth, with a cast of characters who help to make sure the right one wins.”

The play is based on the ancient Green Man mythology of the British Isles and Europe, Joy says, which focuses on the male energy so vital in the fertility and rebirth process.

“Eggs, which so obviously represent fertility, also feature largely in our play, as does a rabbit – well you know what rabbits are like,” Joy says.

The play is about half an hour long, and comes complete with elaborate costumes, music, pythonesque humour, good fun, and, of course, lots of malarkey.

The performance is free and open to all.

A repeat performance of the play will be held at the Campbell River Seniors Centre (in the Campbell River Common) June 18 at noon for those who miss the Shelter Point performance this weekend.

For more information, contact Joy by email at garendersgreenfolk@gmail.com or by phone at 250-337-5337.