By Jeffrey Riedy
So, many of my relatives and friends have been asking about last week's debut of the Selkie Strawboys at Celtic Classic, as part of Celtic Crossroads, which was sponsored by Eastern Pennsylvania Arts Alliance. Let me first just say what an honor it was to present at Celtic Classic. For weeks leading up to the Festival, Selkie scrambled to gather a cast and rehearse The Mummer's Play, and also to create the costumes and masks worn by the Strawboys.
A bit of Irish Mumming history first... Mummer's (or Strawboys or Wrenboys) have historical significance in Irish Culture. Though the details of their origins are at best sketchy and subject to opinion and facts, Strawboys have long served their communities, as entertainment and mystery. Many accounts tell of the goings on of St Stephen's Day (December 26), and how the Mummers would visit house to house, requesting to be invited in, and then to entertain under a cloak of anonymity, with masks of various materials; from gauze drapes, to wicker masks, to masks made of shafts of grain. Other accounts tell of Mummers crashing weddings, entertaining the wedding guests, and even sometimes raising money to help the newly married couple. And the tales go on... The bottom line is that our Selkie Strawboys want to embrace the Irish heritage, celebrate Irish Culture, and along the way educate and entertain.
Over the past week, we have received links to various photos and videos FEATURING our Strawboy Mumming at Celtic Classic. Below I am accumulating all those links in one spot. You can also view many of the videos from our website,
And a REALLY huge thank you to Celtic Classic, Celtic Cultural Alliance, and Eastern Pennsylvania Arts Alliance and its members, for making it possible for Selkie to present the Strawboys at this year's Celtic Classic.
"The Mummer's Play" video
Strolling the Festival:
Photos on Celtic Classic Facebook Page:
If you like what you see, and are either interested in joining our troupe of Mummers or would like to inquire about booking The Selkie Strawboys for your next event, Festival, party, parade, or who knows.... read more on our website: