Intangible Cultural Heritage


Rescuing Galoshins, a Scottish folk play


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Fiona Allen

The Meadows Mummers

MEMORIAMEDIA Review 2. Art.3. 2017


 photo: Fiona Allen


In 2013, a postgraduate from the University of Edinburgh, who had been researching a Scottish folk play, known as Galoshins, formed a mumming troupe to participate in saving the play from relative obscurity. This piece of intangible cultural heritage has now been performed at community events in tents, church halls, on a canal bridge, in a pub, and in a museum. It has been feminised, updated, de‐militarised, and due respect is paid to the Commedia dell'Arte roots of the original by adding in broad physical clowning and contemporary political references. The dialogue is largely presented in traditional rhyming couplets, with usage of Scots restricted to those elements of the script where the action is clear enough that speech is an optional extra.


Keywords: Folk Play; Scotland; Commedia dell'Arte.