The Big Bang happened not just once, but twice, in the heart of the Mendips at Priddy Folk Festival on Sunday 13 July. The latest Rag Morris Mummers play took an unsuspecting audience right back to the dawn of time, when Old Father Time was still quite young and Old Mother Nature first wrote down all her laws.
A fiery ball of energy begat Mister Matter and Auntie Antimatter, who were just itching for a fight; requiring Professor Paul Dirac, Bristol’s first Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist, to explain his ground-breaking research, Doctor Barry O’Genesis to help solve one of the fundamental mysteries of the wonders of the universe, and Doctor Dark Matter, with his dark, dark medicine, to take Auntie Antimatter on a journey to the Dark Side. Constant Billy, however, just thought it was all far, far too silly.
The play was performed in the morning at the Eastwater Marquee and in the afternoon at the market field, to the delight and confusion of folk play enthusiasts and passers-by. One of them commented, “That was a bit like a mummers’ play”; and he wasn’t wrong.
The Big Bang can be thought to bookend Rag Morris’ sequence of historical, mythical and allegorical mummers’ plays; which now take in a potted history of nearly everything. We’ve paraded dozens of characters – including Vincent and Goram, Saint George, Robin Hood, Richard the Lionheart, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert – in a flexible and adaptable format that almost always features a fight to the death and a Doctor with a little drop of tip-tap. Nevertheless there remain vast untapped tracts of tempting historical fact and fiction that remain unmummered, so watch this space for any hints of the the first inkling of what the next effort might concern.
If you could suggest any likely venues, festivals, physics conferences or quantum theory seminars where a performance of our Big Bang mummers play might be appreciated, please contact me or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
No universes were created or destroyed during the production of our play.