Plough Play, the oldest form of the Mummers Play, is found in Lincolnshire,
Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Intriguingly, its text is almost the same,
word for word, in every village.
The plough-boys used to pull a plough round the village on
Plough Monday, performing the play in the kitchens of the larger houses.
The play represents the usual "death and resurrection" struggle, found in many
Winter rituals. The Recruiting Sergeant is killed by King George and
brought back to life by the Doctor, with all his mumbo-jumbo and nonsense words.
The particular play performed by
Bedford Morris Men comes from Branston, a Leicestershire village just south of
Belvoir Castle and was one of two, collected in that district by Davd Welti, a
former squire of Bedford Morris and the Morris Ring.