Tag Archives: Mummer’s Play

Cambridge Christmas Revels 2016: “Acadian – Cajun Celebration” — Was OUTSTANDING!

by Anura Guruge

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Absolutely brilliant!

Bravo. Kudos & a HUGE Thank YOU.

Made MY Christmas. Feel rejuvenated — which is what these wonderful pagan celebrations of the Winter Solstice are supposed to be all about.

Yes, of course, I am an unashamed sucker for Revels. There is a visceral connection — which is probably not surprising given my truly pagan blood. I love and savor all aspects of Revels. Of course, I get up and dance the “Lord of the Dance” — and let me please tell you, that doing “Lord of Dance” at the stunningly beautiful ‘Sanders Theatre’, with three real buglers bugling on the stairs, is like nothing anywhere else.

That said, I am also fussy about MY Revels. This was at least the 10th I have been to — and for the last 7 years or so we have gone to at least one Revels each Christmas. I know what I like, I know what works, I know what elements need to be there and I know when I am treated to a good performance.

And the Cambridge “Acadian – Cajun Celebrations” exceeded my expectations, and given that this is Cambridge, the ‘Revels Mothership‘ as I refer to them, I had, as ever, very high hopes. This was my third Cambridge Revels, the second in two years.

The music, the songs, the presentation, the costumes, the props were all truly marvelous. It was a good story and they told it well. I learned quite a bit.

The French songs were captivating. The fifth act, ‘La Rose au Bois‘ (The Rose in the Woods) was truly amazing.

The Sword Dance which incorporated some impressive tap-dancing was magical as was the Mummer’s Play.

And this year, for the first time ever, it was POLITICAL. This being ultra-liberal and superlatively educated Cambridge there were at least three digs at the President-Elect, one having to do with his small hands. They had Trump’s doctor starring in the Mummer’s Play and that was appreciated by all. But, the most telling was when David Coffin, the M.C., stressed at the start that the Hallmark ‘Dona Nobis Pacem‘, the Peace blessing, was more important this year than ever before.

Overall it was a BLAST. Loved it. Bought the CD and it got player, in its entirety, twice before we got home (around 12:40am in the morning).

The Cambridge show is on for a few more days. Try and catch it if you can.

Welcome YULE.

Merry Christmas.

Related posts:
>> Cambridge 2016 tickets.
>> Cambridge 2015
Welsh Revels: Pictures.

++++ Search on “Revels” for many, many related posts >>>>

by Anura Guruge

2016 Philadelphia Mummers Parade, Two YouTube Videos From The “Wench Brigades”.

by Anura Guruge

Click to image to access YouTube video.


The ‘Riverfront’ brigade dressed as cows and they had udders in their bloomers — which they occasionally FLASHED with great flourish.


We were in Philadelphia for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day 2016. We were in New York City for 3 days prior to that but had decided we didn’t want to do the ‘Ball’ at Times Square.

I had never heard of the Philadelphia “Mummers Parade” until I started making plans for the trip — though we are quite familiar with “Mummers” since the “Mummers Play” is always the central theme of Part II of all Christmas Revels performances. The Parade was going to be the highlight of our January 1 — that also being our Wedding Anniversary (now 13 years).

We heard conflicting stories as to where we should watch the Parade from. In the end we ended up watching it from the south side of City Hall, pretty close to the start and within the City Hall ‘square’ itself. Wasn’t a bad place. Wasn’t overly crowded. Lots of police presence BUT extremely low key, unobtrusive and totally unofficious. It was a pleasant revelations. They let ‘photographers’ — and by that they meant anybody with a camera — freely go in and out of the barriers so that they could take pictures right from the parade route itself. That meant that I was allowed to be right in the THICK of the parade with the Mummers happily walking around me. They LOVED being photographed. They stopped and posed. They thanked us. They gave us beads. It was a blast.

I took 640 pictures with my Panasonic Lumix FZ1000!

We were there for 2 hours. It wasn’t bitterly cold but by noon we were ready for a hot lunch.

Deanna probably took at least 300 and Devanee quite a few.

I will post the pictures, some of which came out quite well, soon — in batches.

For now let me share these two short video clips that I shot with the FZ1000.

I would go back again — happily (as long as it is not too cold). But now at least we know some of the parameters.

Related Posts:
>> ‘Still Lifes’ at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
>> Wyndham Hotel, Philadelphia Historic District.
Philadelphia ‘Zooballoon’.
Running up “Rocky Steps”.
Orangutan at Philadelphia zoo.
Got Jaguar in Philadelphia.

++++ Search on ‘Philadelphia‘ for many more >>>>

by Anura Guruge

Cambridge 2015 Christmas Revels, The ‘Welsh Celebration’ — Absolutely Fantabulous.

RevelsCambridge10182015 .Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail


by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> Cambridge 2015
Welsh Revels
: Program.
>> Cambridge 2015 Welsh Revels.

** Dylan Thomas & I.
** Dylan Thomas: ‘A Boy With A Note’.

>> Christmas Revels North, 2015Scottish Highland Bash.
>> Christmas Revels 2014: RAVE.
>> Christmas Revels 2013 at Dartmouth.
>> Christmas Revels 2012 at Dartmouth.

++++ Search for ‘Revels’ & ‘Cambridge’ for MANY other related posts >>>>

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Pictures from last night provided by Revels.

Photographs by (and copyright belonging to) Roger Ide.

Click to ENLARGE.


Lavish Production.


Authentic & Empathetic.

Singing bordering on Divine.

Yes, I will readily admit that I love ‘Revels‘ — and have for years. But, I am also a stickler for tradition and class and will differentiate between brilliant, v. good and not so good as I did here.

The ‘Welsh Celebration’ Christmas Revels 2015, opening night performance yesterday, in Cambridge at the elaborate ‘Sanders Theatre‘, was outstandingly good in every facet.

This morning Teischan, Deanna and I, all veterans of Revels past, were debating whether last night was the BEST Revels we have ever seen! That alone is one heck of a testament — since I have been to about 9 and Deanna and Teischan to more than 6.

Yes, the Welshness appeals to me since Wales is one of the 4 places I consider as ‘Home’. That they actually mentioned Cwmdonkin Drive, as to where a Christmas present being delivered, had come from was an added bonus. Not sure how many people even heard the name — Cwmdonkin — or knew what it meant. I would have to think that I was the ONLY person there last night that had actually lived on Cwmdonkin Drive — directly opposite Dylan Thomas’ house.

Very authentic. A lot of men looked Welsh. The slag piles were beautifully rendered.

That they did ‘Sospan Fach‘, a classic Welsh ditty (invariably sung at Rugby matches), was another bonus. It was GOOD (but I share with you, below, my favorite version).

The requisite elements of any Christmas Revels — Morris Dance, Mummer’s Play, Sword Dance, Dona Nobis Pacem, Sussex Mummer’s Carol, Horn Dance — were of an extremely high class. But I expect that from Cambridge Revels — who are THE ‘Mother Ship’ of Revels.

The Sword Dance was exquisite and elaborate. Wow. A girl slipped and fell during it. The audience gasped as one — that was how everybody, at the edge of their seats — was engrossed in the display. She got up at once and continued without a hitch. Given the reaction from the audience they might want to incorporate that slip into future performances.

Musically it was a Master Class, especially the signing. Bravo. THANK YOU.

The singing segments in the Second Half were goose bump inducing. The audience signing Dona Nobis Pacem was WOW! Well it is Cambridge.

Well I do NOT want to appear that I am gushing TOO MUCH since we consider Revels North, at Dartmouth, OUR Revels. So we don’t want them to think that I am glorifying Cambridge too much. SMILE. We go to the Revels North ‘Scottish Bash‘ next week. Yes, TWO (2) Revels for 2015.

Brilliant production. Outstanding performance. Bravo. Kudos.

Thank YOU.

Even MORE pictures by Roger Ide.
Click to access.

MY Favorite rendition of ‘Sospan Fach‘ — and OF COURSE it is by Max Boyce.

Remember I went to University in Wales (in Swansea) and essentially grew up there.


Click to access YouTube video. Sospan Fach starts at around 3:20. This is Sospan Fach at its very best and Max was the master. IF you haven’t heard Max Boyce before THANK ME for enhancing your lfe.