April 2, 2018
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'.
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.
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