This Festival is a few days of Morris Dancers, Folk Music, other dancers and acts and our Broadside Mummers all performing in the streets, various venues and pubs. If the weather is kind (as it was this year) it is great fun for performers and watchers alike. Biggles himself is the writer of these plays which are based very loosely on the traditional Mummers plays and each year there is a different theme. They are normally performed in pubs over Christmas, about four or five a night when they collect money for their special charity the Elizabeth Foundation for deaf Children.
For the Chippenham Festival we and most of the cast of the play come in Camper vans or bring tents and stay in a good camp site with decent toilet and washing facilities, which is a boon for us older ones!
There are many good places to eat and drink and drink (very popular) which the “boys” need after having to make themselves heard in the streets. I think you will see me in the background of the “Flying” photograph as I am the Prompt – sometimes necessary after the fourth or fifth pub performance! Any collections that are made go to the Festival for the next year.
There is great dressing up – my partner is Ginger so grows his moustache and I spray it orange. There is the Kamikasi pilot and a chap who is Jane left by Tarzan in the jungle where they crash. I think photos of Jane aka Derek would put you off your dinner so I will omit that. There is a Doctor of course for the bringing back to life bit!
Everyone gets very weary but a great time is had!