Friday 16th December, 8.00pm
Little Missenden Church
After our medieval and Scottish Christmases we welcome the Mellstock Band, returning to their roots in a show built round descriptions of Christmas festivities in the works of Thomas Hardy and Dorset dialect poet William Barnes.
Dave Townsend director, concertina, fiddle, voice Tim Hill clarinet, voice Philip Humphries serpent, voice Charles Spicer oboe, cor anglais, voice
On their Christmas rounds in deepest Wessex the band encounter strange visitors, pious beasts, wrathful squires and sweaty dancers. There are mummers, disasters, ghosts and curious musical instruments, all depicted in the wonderful words of Hardy and Barnes.
“Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the Mellstocks” (Susan Segal, Riverhouse Arts)
In period costume and with 19th century village band instruments (including fiddle, concertina and serpent), the band perform West Gallery carols, harmony songs and rousing dance music, linked together with spoken extracts, and incorporating a Dorset Mummers’ Play.
“This concert was so joyous, so uplifting and so downright heart-warming, that it was positively therapeutic”
“The refreshing, earthy sounds of the early oboe, clarinet, concertina and serpent were truly music to my ears”
The Mellstock Band has appeared in TV and film dramas like Pride and Prejudice, Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the d’Urbervilles; featured in productions by the RSC and The Royal National Theatre; and provided the music for a classic radio serial, The Mayor of Casterbridge.