Marshfield Paper Boys, England

The Marshfield Paper Boys dress in recycled newspaper and perform a mummers play on Boxing Day, in Gloucestershire © Helen Parker

Well, this is one way to recycle your newspapers! Slice and sew them into shaggy hats and suits to resemble overfed sheep. Then parade the streets, wielding wooden swords and bellow out a rhyming play in your thickest west country accent.

Towns across Britain see traditional ‘mummers’ troupes performing local folk plays over Christmas, but few groups are as quirky as the Marshfield Paper Boys of south Gloucestershire, who perform on Boxing Day.

The story they tell is also unique to the town; a medieval drama with characters like King William, Beelzebub, and – wait – Father Christmas? The story has never been formally written down but has evolved with each passing year as individual mummers ad lib.

Written by - Photo by Helen Parker

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