Face colour

Photograph of the Valiant Soldier talking to the audience

A common feature of mummer's plays is that the performers are disguised. "Guisers" isn another name for the mummers. For almost 45 years the Herga Mummers had black faces to hide who they were. Soot was readily available in the days of coal fires and smearing it on the face was a cheap and simple way of hiding your features.

In recent times blackface has become increasingly controversial, even though no offence was intended. We have taken therefore the decision to move with the times and stop blacking-up. After all, tradition must live and evolve and not be stuck in one particular era.

The Herga Mummers still maintain their disguise but now our faces are painted in a variety of colours. After all, stage make-up is now much more readily available than soot! Each player can choose their own face colour (as long as it is not black), often matching the colour to the character.

The pictures on this web site will be updated as soon as we have images of the new make-up.