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Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play

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GUEST,CS 05 Oct 12 - 09:04 AM
GUEST,CS 05 Oct 12 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 05 Oct 12 - 09:18 AM
Jack Campin 05 Oct 12 - 09:31 AM
GUEST,steampunkfolkrocker 05 Oct 12 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,matt milton 05 Oct 12 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,CS 05 Oct 12 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,CS 05 Oct 12 - 10:47 AM
ClaireBear 05 Oct 12 - 12:02 PM
VirginiaTam 05 Oct 12 - 01:03 PM
VirginiaTam 05 Oct 12 - 01:05 PM
Dave the Gnome 05 Oct 12 - 03:18 PM
Dead Horse 05 Oct 12 - 03:35 PM
GUEST,CS 06 Oct 12 - 04:39 AM
GUEST 06 Oct 12 - 04:55 AM
Micca 06 Oct 12 - 07:00 PM
Jack Campin 06 Oct 12 - 07:56 PM
GUEST,CS 07 Oct 12 - 04:37 AM
Jack the Sailor 07 Oct 12 - 04:45 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 Oct 12 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,matt milton 09 Oct 12 - 06:56 AM
VirginiaTam 09 Oct 12 - 03:40 PM
Jack Campin 09 Oct 12 - 04:53 PM
JohnB 10 Oct 12 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,CS 11 Oct 12 - 04:00 AM
GUEST,matt milton 11 Oct 12 - 05:33 AM
GUEST 11 Oct 12 - 12:59 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 Oct 12 - 02:40 PM
Jack Campin 11 Oct 12 - 06:47 PM
GUEST 12 Oct 12 - 12:59 AM
GUEST,olddude 12 Oct 12 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,VaTam on her Tab 12 Oct 12 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,VaTam on her tab 12 Oct 12 - 10:42 AM
Jack Campin 12 Oct 12 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,CS 13 Oct 12 - 08:31 AM
LadyJean 13 Oct 12 - 11:29 PM
open mike 14 Oct 12 - 10:41 PM
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Subject: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 09:04 AM

Vtam has been invited to compose and direct a Mummer's play for the local Steampunk * Christmas meet, and asked me if I had any ideas. I don't know much about Mummer's plays, so thought I'd ask for ideas here.

My vague suggestion was to go down a bit of a Rocky Horror style route with mad scientists / doctors and gothic resurrection figures like Frankenstein monsters / zombies and so-on.

All a bit fuzzy though. Any other thoughts?

Suggestions for a broad 'structure' for the Mummer's play in terms of key scenes and characters, would be much appreciated. We can then try superimposing Steampunk themes upon that.




* for those who don't know, Steampunk is both a modern genre of fiction set in a Victorian science fiction landscape (think H.G. Wells) and a thriving sub culture in which people construct characters from that world, dress up and get together to create and have fun.


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 09:05 AM

EDIT: Not 'zombies' but Mummies! (the kind that come back to life)


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 09:18 AM

We wrote a Mummer's Play once (circe 1985) which involved hideous death & resurrection themes. St George was killed in an agonising conflagration by the fiery dragon and his bones mixed with the excrement collected by The Devil from the open latrines of sinful clergy. I can't recall how he was eventually brought to life but the horse said:

How fitting that Brave St George the Noble Brit,
Should be a man of blackened bone mixed with unholy shit.

Great fun. I think a script still survives somewhere. Yeah - pure Steamfolk...

For some great Mummer's Play scripts see:

http://www.folkplay.info/Texts.htm


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 09:31 AM

Dr Frankenstein is an obvious match.

Another way might be to have St George dressed as a locomotive and the dragon as Dr Beeching, with the reanimation provided by a steam railway preservation society.


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST,steampunkfolkrocker
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 09:51 AM

Father Christmas meets Jack the Ripper
and the ensuing conflict brings terror and good tidings
to the streets of old Whitchaple....

Jack the Ripper has not been a good boy,
so does not get any presents,
and disappears in an almighty sulk never to be seen again.

Charles Dickens narrates this epic daft confrontation of good and evil to the xmas party audience.


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 10:28 AM

How about, when St George is slain, he is brought back to life not by medicine but by cybernetic body parts. He is part man, part (clockwork/turbine-powered) machine.

Mummers plays are quite steampunk anyway, really...


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 10:42 AM

Brilliant!
Harvesting from the various ideas posited I think we could be getting somewhere.

How about we add a dash of the Railway Children in the form of the 'Green Dragon' steam train, turned evil?

George is smashed to bits by the Green Dragon. Dr. Frankenstein operates, but there's not enough of George left to resurrect! So Dr. Frankenstein resurrects George as a man cum Steam Train hybrid.


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 10:47 AM

Any more?


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: ClaireBear
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 12:02 PM

I have always thought this story ("The Deliverers of Their Country") from E. Nesbit's The Book of Dragons could be adapted into a great mummers' play. It's got St George and the Dragon in it, AND it features a journey to the "Universal Taproom," where the weather faucets that turn on rain, sunshine, fog and the like are kept. Can't get much steampunkier than that! It would take some reworking of course, but I think it could be very effective.

Best of luck with the project!


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 01:03 PM

Wow! I am loving it all. Hope i have the time and energy to put something together and enough time to get a troupe of players trained up. This may take a couple of years to come to fruition.


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 01:05 PM

BTW... Many thanks or you all, but most especially to CS. I have been much out of sorts for almost a year, so not been playing much online. Nice to be back even though I am still no better.


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 03:18 PM

Try modifying this Lancashire Play

At least you will be starting with a clear understanding of how the originals run anyway. Take no notice of the 'Pace Egg' reference - this one is obviously a Christmas play as you will see. I think with the substitution of a few words it could be tailored to suit steam punk as well as other genres. I would love to see the and result anyway:-)

Cheers

DtG

(Who has been known to play Hector and The Doctor in the Easter Version)


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: Dead Horse
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 03:35 PM

Throw a very large fake eyeball on to the stage.
(Voice off) "In comes eye"
(Groans)


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 04:39 AM

I think considering the Victorians fascination for all things macabre, that steamfolkpunkrocker's suggestion for a dark slant is good. I like having the narrator a famous novelist. Maybe Tam you could cross dress and narrate / direct as Edgar Allen Poe? I think that would be fun :)


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 04:55 AM

Here he is:

Poe


Have you seen the faux "Kate short for Bob" 'tash craze all over the web lately? You can even crochet one:

http://easymakesmehappy.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/crochet-mustache-pattern.html

CS


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: Micca
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 07:00 PM

CS, there is a Utube of the Basic Mummers play that we did at the FSGW Getaway in 2010 Here it may ,at least,give you an idea of the form that Mummers plays can take, and it contains most of the Significant characters and incidents, Hope it helps


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 07:56 PM

Scottish versions:

The doctor's recipe

Brian Hayward: Galoshins

Emily Lyle: Galoshins Remembered

For sound samples: search "galoshins" at http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/

I reckon the nearest thing to a dragon in modern culture is a NATO drone. In the 19th century it would have been an airship.

A History of Bombing


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 04:37 AM

Thanks for the links peeps :)

Jack, an airship or 'dirgible' would be spot on. They feature highly in Steampunk worlds:

Steampunk Dirigibles


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 04:45 AM

In mummers' plays, the central incident is the killing and restoring to life of one of the characters. The characters may be introduced in a series of short speeches (usually in rhyming couplets) in which each personage has his own introductory announcement, or they may introduce themselves in the course of the play's action. The principal characters, presented in a wide variety of manner and style, are a Hero, his chief opponent, the Fool, and a quack Doctor; the defining feature of mumming plays is the Doctor, and the main purpose of the fight is to provide him with a patient to cure. The hero sometimes kills and sometimes is killed by his opponent; in either case, the Doctor comes to restore the dead man to life.

This seems very easy to use.


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Oct 12 - 05:31 PM

In come I, Edgar Allen Poe
And in my stories I worry you so
But do not fear my rhyming or playing Mum
The scary thing is the pit and the ...

Oh - Too obvious.

In comes I, the storyteller brazen
With creepy tales and quoths from the Raven...

Errr - Why am I doing all this work for you :-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 06:56 AM

Italian knight: "It's a dirigible!"
Quack Doctor: "Actually, I thought it was pretty good"


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 03:40 PM

Because Dave the Gnome you are adorable and you are so good at it. Loving all the eye-deas


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 04:53 PM

The airship pictures reminded me of these, the perfect steampunk instrument:

Charles Mathieu ocarina

another one

I have four of them in different sizes. They made enough different pitches to load a bandolier to go with a Mexican or Balkan bandit persona.

Or somewhat weirder:

Harry Bernard ocarina

Mathieu ocarinas turn up on EBay regularly, particularly on the French one.


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: JohnB
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 01:00 PM

Sorry, speaking as the Dr. in our play (which is based on the 18## Cornish Father Christmas Play) the Dr. for the Steampunk version HAS to have a Theramin.
OOOOoooohhhhhhhh!
JohnB who even has a friend who Busks with one.


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 04:00 AM

Alas JohnB, I don't believe we are likely to have access to a Theremin.
I've no idea if anyone has an ocinara either, but they are definitely pretty Steampunk.
Funny thing about Steampunk, is once you know it exists, how many films, objects and other artifacts contain Steampunk imagery and ideas.


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 05:33 AM

Excellent (and more portable) theremin substitute: bowed saw.

A good skill to learn.

While we're on the subject of steampunk, I'm currently reading a collection of ghost stories by Oliver Onions. Last night I read his short story "Phantas", and was astonished to find that it basically invents steampunk. I believe it was written in 1911.

It concerns a strange meeting, via timewarp (in a Bermuda Triangle-type setting), of the dying captain of a clipper ship and the captain of a steamship from a later age. They both consider the other to be a ghost, and the tale is a phantastic and profound meditation on nature of inspiration and aspiration: how there is nothing new under the sun, how the child is precursor to the man, and how new ideas and old coalesce.

The old captain, fascinated by the later technology, demands to know how this incredible vessel is powered, asking how it manages to harness the wind. "STEAM" says the later captain, and then reiterates it, spelling out the letters, "S -T - E - A - M".

While the story stops short of coining the phrase "Steampunk", the name of the steam-powered ship is, brilliantly, the "Seapink". Phantasms abound! How serendipitous (or not?!) is that?


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 12:59 PM

Ha! Oliver Onions, what a superb name.

Yeah, I think in the Steampunk community (at least among those who take it all very seriously) there is a general agreement, that Steampunk as a particular kind of cultural meme, predates the coining of the term itself by quite some distance.

My own childhood encounters with proto-Steampunkian imagery hale from the eighties with mad inventors and doctors. In particular the children's series of books about 'Professor Branestawm' (1933 - 1980's) who created all kinds of bizzarre contraptions from everyday items, and the animated television series Dr. Snuggles, who similarly created numerous archaic looking machines. You can see his wood and brass space rocket here in the introductory titles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrwKvRkTP6w

In any case, if anyone is in the Colchester area tomorrow evening, there will be a modestly attended (some regulars have had to call off) evening meeting of Essex Steampunkers at The Victoria Inn (near the main station): Victoria Inn - Map

Pics of another of our meets: Steam Gala

CS


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 02:40 PM

Ooooh - VT, you know that flatery gets you everywhere :-)


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 06:47 PM

I just won this Mathieu tunable metal alto C ocarina in an EBay Auction:

Mathieu ocarina

The knurled knob at the left-hand end pulls out a piston to lower the basic pitch (slightly).

I already have one the same, I wanted to have another one so I could sell or give one away to convert somebody else.

Is one of those any good to you?

More than you could possibly want to know about them on my ocarina page:

http://www.campin.me.uk/Music/Ocarina/

I was playing it last night and somebody asked in all seriousness if it was made out of an artillery shell.

(I know a local theremin player - we must make a video sometime).


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Oct 12 - 12:59 AM

I directed one with a sword dance. (They actually managed to pull it off. I was amazed!) You could have your actors dance with some sort of steampunk weaponry. Or, perhaps sword canes, though those are hard to come by.

In that the cast were mostly women, playing men, I had them wear cheesy mustaches. It did add something to the performance.


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 12 Oct 12 - 10:11 AM

old pocket watch parts, gears and such, along with some old steam gages. get the all cheap on ebay ..


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST,VaTam on her Tab
Date: 12 Oct 12 - 10:26 AM

Well I like the Poe idea so well I thought the Raven could be twisted to my nefarious purpose


QUOTH THE KRACKEN

A Steampunk mummies play featuring monsters and phantasms and mummie (including someones dear old Mum).

Once upon a midnight dreary, while pondered weak and wearTrudging forth and back upon my laboratory floor
While I cogitated, fingers snapping, suddenly there came a tapping
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at mu dungeon door-
"Confound these visiters." I muttered, "tapping at my dungeon door.
Begone,"quoth I, "For interruptions I deplore."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December
and each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor
Eagerly in my persecution;- vainly to conquer devolution
And from Death find a solution -to bring forth life once more


That's as far as I've got.


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST,VaTam on her tab
Date: 12 Oct 12 - 10:42 AM

I have and used to play a little round clay ocarina. Maybe I should start up again. Help me get some puff back in me lungs.


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Oct 12 - 12:14 PM

The little round toy ocarinas are not relevant to playing a real one like the Mathieu artillery shell. The real ones finger more like a whistle.


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 13 Oct 12 - 08:31 AM

Great start Tam - keep it up. Love the burning embers' ghostly flickerings. Somehow I doubt that we could properly organise a group of players by Xmas this year. But you should definitely compose the rest. Use the dreary British weather as opportunity for gothic inspiration this autumn/winter.

Those little metal ocinaras look perfect Jack, but I'd just never learn to play one. Still have a penny whistle waiting for some attention.


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: LadyJean
Date: 13 Oct 12 - 11:29 PM

I still think a steampunk sword dance would be impressive.


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Subject: RE: Suggestions for a Steampunk Mummers Play
From: open mike
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 10:41 PM

I heard that among the characters were:
St. George, a Doctor, a fool, the devil,

Good luck with this and let us know how it progresses!


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