April 2, 2018

Home Page of Chiddingfold Tipteerers

Next Showing Saint George's Day Saturday 21st May

We ham it up a bit, (well a lot!). We don't take ourselves seriously, (who could?), but we do ensure that everyone has a good time! Having found an old script and account of a traditional 'Tipteerers' play, that was performed in Chiddingfold circa 1860, a few chaps got together in 2003 to resurrect the tradition.
We had ten consecutive annual performances since that 'resurrection' of the play, but it has not happened for the last four years! (Shame, but the cast members need some reinforcement!)
Also known as 'Mumming', Tipteering might be the original form of Pantomime (from the Greek: pan, the whole or all; and mimos, referring to a theatrical style or technique) and perhaps even the origin of what we know as modern theatre. Much of it’s origins seem to be pagan, involving the themes of death and resurrection around the winter solstice, but as few scripts or accounts have survived in written form this may be largely supposition. The play was performed in the past by the agricultural and other workers of the area who, in times of winter hardship, found that performing 'street theatre' was a welcome source of a little income! They also took the play around the large houses and performed for the 'gentry'.

The significance of the array of characters in a Tipteerer’s play seems lost to modern audiences, but has elements of a symbolic history of the British culture.
Disguised, according to tradition, with blackened faces, the ‘guisers’, or players take the parts of
King George,   a Turkish Knight,   Beelzebub,   the Doctor,   and especially Old Father Christmas,   plus the Bold Captain,   Little Billy Wittle and of course Slasher, the gallant soldier!
Needless to say, Good King George wins the day against the villain, who is killed, but brought back to life by the marvellous Doctor!

All participants dress in what costume can be brought to hand; 'rags and tatters', and with their blackened faces, (to avoid recognition!), they ‘fight’ with wooden swords; and conclude by consuming beer whilst taking a collection! (This money will be donated to the Chiddingfold Bonfire Fund, who disburse their funds to the elderly of Chiddingfold each Xmas).
Some raucous singing of Xmas Carols with much audience participation will round off a cheering event.

1st May Day Dancing at dawn, Hydon’s BallVideo of May 1th 2014  You Tube 9 min 10 secs
Fleur de Lys   is a Morris side with female dancers and both male and female musicians

Tipteereres going into The Villagers Chiddingfold

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