Christmas 12th Night celebrations on the River Thames with the Lion’s Part

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holly-man-arrives holly-man-addresses-the-crowd

The Holly Man arrives and addresses the crown outside the Globe Theatre on
London’s South Bank. As usual, click on the thumbnails for larger photos

We travelled to the South Bank of the River Thames in London today to see the Holly Man land from a Thames waterman’s cutter and the doughty Lion’s Part perform their carols and Mumming Play. I didn’t get the name of the boat type correct to begin with – so thanks to Chris Partridge for his comment below.

I brought along my fiddle to lend a hand with the music, but by golly it was cold for a fiddler’s fingers. Julie meanwhile took these photos despite the considerable crowd.

The play was as topical and amusing as one could wish, and The Lion’s Part’s troupe of professional actors includes some very sharp performers. I was particularly impressed with their Doctor – the Doctor in these plays always has the best part, but this particular one seemed to have been born to play it.

See  similar post from last year:


turkish-knight playing

The play in progress; the Turkish Knight; musicians and crowd

3 thoughts on “Christmas 12th Night celebrations on the River Thames with the Lion’s Part”

  1. Gavin, looks like a wonderful pagan carryover ritual. Hollyman must be a variation of the greenman. Thank you for this post.


  2. The Thames Waterman's cutter should be better known. Back in the 1980s it looked as though the old waterman's boat had disappeared, along with the livery company barges, so the organisers of the Great River Race had a new one designed that could be used either with six oars for racing, or with four oars and room for passengers. They have been very successful and brighten up the river no end. See for more. Two of them rowed from London to Paris last spring.

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