Rural Christmas festivities have a strong grip on the imagination. These shows abound with the sounds and images of midnight carollers, mummers, wassailing, dancing and making merry.
When Icicles Hang – Frosty farmsteads, winter journeys, old superstitions and seasonal celebrations – there’s nothing like a chilly day in the country to make you appreciate the pleasures of a warm fireside, a glass of something, and a rousing song or a mysterious story.
Christmas in Mellstock – Follow the Mellstock Band as they go their Christmas rounds in deepest Wessex, encountering 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 Thomas Hardy and William Barnes.
Rejoice All Men – Christmas in Thomas Hardy’s Wessex.
The Leaves of Life – Christmas Music in English Tradition, from Carols to Revels & from Alehouse to Church Gallery.
Music and Tales of the English Countryside
Thomas Hardy, William Barnes, John Clare and other authors have left vivid depictions of country life and customs. Drawing on these and the music collections of Hardy, Clare and other village musicians, the band weave together songs, dances and stories to create tapestries of life, love and festivity.
Human Shows – Thomas Hardy’s Musical Worlds, from Mellstock Church to Casterbridge Barracks, from Mixen Lane to Vauxhall Gardens.
The Shepherd’s Calendar – Merrymaking and Courtship through the Country Year.
The Thomas Hardy Song Book – The songs, tunes and stories Hardy grew up with and wove into his novels and poetry.