Traditional Drama Research Group
The website of the Traditional Drama Research Group

Blidworth Plough Monday Play, c.1939

P.T.Millington Collection (1971. H.Clark)

Context

Location: 
Blidworth
SK5855
Time of Occurrence: 
Plough Monday
Collective name: 
[Not given]

Source

Author: 
Harry Clark
Title: 
Blidworth Plough Monday Play
Publication: 
Collected 28th May 1971

Cast

First Man
Second Man / Betsy Bellzebub
Third Man / Jack Steel
Doctor

Text

FIRST MAN

In, comes I, never been before,
So many actors standing at the door,
Some can dance and sonue can sing,
At your consent they'll all walk in.

SECOND MAN {Carrying a-big stick and a frying pan}

In comes I Betsy Bellzebub,
In my hand I carry a club,
In the other a frying pan,
To catch all the money I can.

THIRD MAN

In comes I Jack Steel,
My body's made of brass,
My belly's made of steel.
No man can make me feel.

SECOND MAN {Or possibly a fourth}

I can make you feel.

THIRD MAN

You can't.

{Third man is prodded and killed by the second man}

FIRST MAN

Five pounds for a doctor,
Ten pounds to stop away.

DOCTOR {Dressed like a doctor}

In comes I the doctor.

FIRST MAN

How did you become a doctor?

DOCTOR

I travelled for it»

FIRST MAN

Where did you travel?

DOCTOR

England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales.
I went to York and cured Old Mother Cork.
She fell upstairs backwards,
And made her stocking bleed.

FIRST MAN

What can you cure?

DOCTOR

Ipsy, Pipsy, palsy gout,
Pains within and pains without.

FIRST MAN

Can you cure this man then

{Doctor examines the third man}

DOCTOR

He's swallowed a horse and cart,
And can't get shut of the wheels.

{He takes out a bottle of water}

DOCTOR

He wants a drop of my Tiff-Taff,
Then he'll be right again

{Doctor lifts up the third man singing:-}

[MIDI music sound file] [ABC music notation]

Rise me lads it's time for listing, listing do not be affraid, [sic]
You will find all kinds of ribbons. Likewise kiss the pretty maid.

{All sing}

[MIDI music sound file] [ABC music notation]

 

 

[All]

Good master and good mistress, as you sit by the fire.
Remember us poor plough boys, A moor, a moor, a mire,
A moor. a moor, a mire. A moor, a moor, a mire.
Put what you like in our box. And a jug of your best beer.

Notes

Collector's Notes:

Contributed by Harry Clark, Lynden, New Lane, Blidworth on 28/5/71 to Peter T.Millington.

NOTES:- Mr. Clark never performed the play, but his friends did. He probably only heard it a couple of times, being able to recount it due to a remarkable memory, and a descriminating [sic] mind, responding only to prompts about parts in the play he saw. When they came to his house, the door went ajar, and someone shouted, "Do you want us." His mother said yes and the first man came in to start the play. The area they had to perform in was about three feet by five feet, one of the consequences being that when the third man fell, he had a look round first to make sure he did not fall against anything.

In this play all traces of recruiting-marriage sequence is lost, exept [sic] in the song at the end, on the other hand it also lacks the fight of a Guyser-type play, although this may have been due to lack of elbow room.

Peter Millington's Notes:

The date of performance was not recorded. However, Harry Clark took part in a revival of the play in 1980, with a cast mostly comprising ex-performers. An article about the revival in the Mansfield Chronicle & Advertiser, 17th Jan.1980, states that the play had last been performed just before the outbreak of World War II - i.e. 1939.