We’re back. It was dead good.

We did it!

After a year’s enforced break from live shows, our intrepid team of weirdly-dressed eccentrics took to the road to perform the Calverton Plough Play on Friday 14 – Saturday 15 January.

James and Jay

‘We decided to take things cautiously,’ said our Beelzebub, lazily quoting himself in this article he’s now writing.

Eddie‘We’d usually do something like seventeen pubs, but to ease ourselves back in and stay as safe as possible we just did the eight.’

Punters at each of the venues were nonetheless raucous and generous, with the dripping pan bulging under the weight of £604.47 for Nottingham NSPCC by the end of it – a terrific amount to raise on such a reduced run.

We’re so proud to say that there’s life very much left in this vibrant old Nottinghamshire tradition with more new members coming through to join our more experienced campaigners this year. Shout-outs in particular to Kitty Wood (musician) and Damian Waghorn (Eezum Squeezum) who made their Plough Play debuts in 2022 and to Robert Throup who rejoined the cast as the Recruiting Sergeant.

Love and thanks too to Sandra Reilly, roadie extraordinaire, for all her hard work on both nights.

And finally – our thanks to audiences who responded so magnificently at each of our nine performances (eight pubs – but we did two shows at the Woodlark!) and to the landlords and ladies for having us along.

We’ll be back again to perform our St George’s Play on 23rd April.

2022 Calverton Plough Play – FINAL Tour Dates

crappps-logo-300x3162021’s live streamed Plough Play saw us maintain our unbroken run of annual performances with pubs shut and no live gigs possible. While we still live in crazy times (understatement? Ed.) we’re emerging, blinking into the light, for a limited live run this month. Brace yourselves!

The tour dates for the 2022 Calverton Plough Play are below.

The 2022 tour will see us undertake our 44th consecutive year of Plough Play performances. The first ever run took place in 1979. Proceeds, as ever, will go to Nottinghamshire NSPCC.

Friday 14th January 2022

  • The Plough, Farnsfield – 7:30 pm
  • The Black Bull, Blidworth – 8:15 pm
  • The Fox and Hounds, Blidworth – 8:45 pm
  • The Old Green Dragon, Oxton – 9:45 pm

Saturday 15th January 2022

  • Robin Hood and Little John, Arnold – 7:30 pm
  • The Old Ship, Lowdham – 8:15 pm
  • Woodlark, Lambley – 9:00 pm
  • Admiral Rodney, Calverton – 10:00 pm

Proper bunch of rogues ‘n’ all

plough-play-17-webLike a well-drilled military operation or summat, the mildly unhinged gentlefolk of CRAPPPS hit the road Friday and Saturday 14–15 January on their 44th consecutive annual Plough Play tour.

Made with lashings of ale and mummery goodness, the play is based on a script first performed in Cropwell Bishop in 1890. 

It’s a limited tour this year, with eight shows being performed over the two nights as per the gig list here. All proceeds will go, as ever, to Nottingham NSPCC. 

This year’s team (in order of appearance) is: 

40th Web Shot 3 400x300Guess what? You can click on the names linked above for some truly lovely (?) pen pictures of our handsome and attractive cast.

All biographies have been supplied by the dubious individuals in question (apart from Eddie’s, which we were forced to make up because he didn’t return our emails). 

It’s been something of a labour of love keeping the CRAPPPS team active through the COVID lockdowns of 2020 and 2021. With pubs having to close their doors to live performances we had to smuggle out a couple of online shows instead, making more than £500 for charity in the process.

But now … we’re itching to get back out on tour. See you in a bit, mi duks!

CRAPPPS Plough Play 2020 – Gallery

Taken by Mrs Beelzy with Bold Tom’s dead posh camera, these photos were taken in the Lady Bright and Gay’s kitchen prior to the January 2020 run of the Calverton Plough Play. We did 17 shows across 3 nights and raised £877.09 for Nottingham NSPCC.

The photos in this gallery have never seen the light of day until now, having recently been found in a long lost folder in Dropbox (or something).

They’re particularly special because they’re the last set of photos taken of us together as a team preparing for a live tour, just a few short weeks before the world changed.

We haven’t been out on the road with a live show since, though all this changes in January 2022 when we jump in the minibus for Plough Play 44.

We’ll see you soon.

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2022 Calverton Plough Play – PROVISIONAL Tour Dates

crappps-logo-300x3162021’s live streamed Plough Play saw us maintain our unbroken run of annual performances with pubs shut and no live gigs possible. While we still live in crazy times (understatement? Ed.) we’re emerging, blinking into the light, for a limited live run in January 2022. Brace yourselves!

The provisional (i.e. subject to change, folks!) tour dates for the 2022 Calverton Plough Play are below.

The 2022 tour will see us undertake our 44th consecutive year of Plough Play performances. The first ever run took place in 1979. Proceeds, as ever, will go to Nottinghamshire NSPCC.

Friday 14th January 2022

  • The Plough, Farnsfield – 7:30 pm
  • The Lion, Farnsfield – 8:00 pm
  • The Fox and Hounds, Blidworth – 8:45 pm
  • The Green Dragon, Oxton – 9:45 pm

Saturday 15th January 2022

  • Robin Hood and Little John, Arnold – 7:30 pm
  • The Ship, Lowdham – 8:15 pm
  • Woodlark, Lambley – 9:00 pm
  • Admiral Rodney, Calverton – 10:00 pm

Blast From The Past – St George 2021 Remembered

Saturday 24 April 2021 saw the good people and true of CRAPPPS celebrate the 10th anniversary of their St George’s Play by just staying at home.

We would much rather have been out and about, of course, but with pubs shut due to COVID the only way we were going to bring this high quality piece of culture (really? Ed.) to the masses was to livestream again. As regular visitors (really again? Ed.) to this website will know, we’d previously broken our Zoom cherry in January 2021 with a barnstorming online performance of our really quite legendary Plough Play, so we’d already worked out which knobs to twiddle on Beelzy’s laptop ‘n’ whatnot.

St G 2021 Cast Pic

And so it came to pass that our hapless troupe of misfits took to t’ interweb to perform the 10th anniversary St George’s Play at a safe social distance from the nearest boozer, raising £145 for the mighty Arnold Foodbank in the process. Older hands and some newer faces were on parade in the traditional roles, with one new part (Griselda Stout) appearing in the show for the very first time to completely delight (really a third time? Ed.) the traditionalists.

The full, unabridged hijinks can be viewed below, having been kept on YouTube for posterior (surely ‘posterity’? Ed.) and knickers to it, frankly.

Ooh! Guess what? With good luck and a following headwind, we’ll be seeing you in the pub soon! Watch out for an incoming announcement about Plough Play 2022 (sly, mysterious chuckle) …

  • Cast members. Top row left to right – Simon Carter as Beelzebub, Jane Carter as the Princess, Nick West as the King of England, Jay Reilly as St George’s Squire. Middle row left to right – Nick Bereznyckyj as the Doctor, James Byrne as the Jester, Paul Cullen as Mop. Bottom row left to right – Phil Wathall as Slasher, Kenny Quilty as the Dragon, Eddie Wathall as St George, Paul Howard as Mrs Gent, Hannah Cupitt as Griselda.

It’s not how we saw the 10th anniversary of the CRAPPPS St George’s Play panning out. On our 9th anniversary we released a YouTube video of our show because COVID restrictions had (sensibly) shut the pubs.

One year on, it’s still not possible to perform to live audiences, so we’re merrily live streaming again to keep another grand local tradition going.

We performed our first ever St George’s Play in 2011 – and we did our first ever live stream with our Plough Play back in January.

So, once again, our hairy and hapless troupe of misfits will be huddled around webcams on Saturday 24 April for a one-night only live performance at 8.30 pm. You can join the fun live using the link below.

We do these silly traditional folky things for a host of good causes. This year, donations are being taken for Arnold Foodbank, Nottinghamshire.

The charity provides three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people in crisis. It is part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.

Note: if you miss the live stream, the video will remain on YouTube for posterior (surely ‘posterity’? Ed.) if you want to see it later.

ST GEORGE’S PLAY LIVESTREAM – Saturday 24 April 2021!

PLOUGH PLAY 2021 – Online Comes I

What’s a mummers group meant to do when the pubs are shut and live shows can’t happen? Easy to skip a year, maybe. Put it down to the pandemic and hope for safer and more sociable times ahead.

But what if you’ve never missed a single year of performing live since 1979 and are desperate to maintain your unbroken record?

Livestream time.

The good (and in most cases hairy) folk of CRAPPPS took to t’interweb on Saturday 16 January for a knees-quaking, history-making live online performance of the Calverton Plough Play.

Audience members from places as far-flung as New Zealand, Denmark and Derby tuned in to watch the chaotic and colourful nonsense unfold and see a fine old Nottinghamshire folk tradition preserved.

‘I’m just glad we pressed all the right buttons,’ said Beelzebub afterwards between hearty gulps of post-gig whiff-whaff.

‘All that tech ‘n’ whatnot. I was proper bricking it.’

At the time of writing, donations to the NSPCC stand at just over £350 with Gift Aid contributions included. Thanks so much to everyone who’s put into the virtual dripping pan so far.

There’s still time to donate through our JustGiving page here.

And if you missed it first time round, you can watch the show on YouTube here.

Unbroken run maintained. We’ll see you all again soon – somehow, somewhen, somewhere.

And stay safe, y’hear?

  • Cast members. Top row left to right – Simon Carter as Beelzebub, Hannah Cupitt as Threshing Blade, Jay Reilly as the Farmer’s Man, James Byrne as Hopper Joe. Middle row left to right – Richard Martin as the Recruiting Sergeant, Peter Millington (fiddler), Nick Bereznyckyj as the Doctor, Jon Wood as Bold Tom. Bottom row left to right – Phil Wathall as the Ribboner, Eddie Wathall as Dame Jane, Paul Howard as the Lady Bright and Gay.

PLOUGH PLAY LIVESTREAM – Saturday 16 January 2021!

The Calverton Plough Play, a time-honoured and much-revered tradition commonly performed around East Midlands hostelries in early January, will be performed live on t’interweb via a YouTube livestream – coo!

The pubs are shut (due to a pandemic or summat) so instead, our colourful (and in many cases very hairy) performers will be huddled around webcams on Saturday 16 January for a one-night only live performance at 8.30 pm. You can join the fun live using the link below.

Note: if you miss the livestream, the video will remain on YouTube for posterior (surely ‘posterity’? Ed.) if you want to see it later.

Blast From The Past – St George 2020 Remembered

This wasn’t how it was meant to be.

The cast of performers may change from year from year. The costumes may get a makeover (or even a wash) sometimes. But, when all is said and done, these are the variables. You can manage the variables.

But the one constant thing a mummers play relies on is the pub. That’s where the action happens. That’s where the punters gather. That’s where traditions live, where traditions breathe. Don’t breathe too heavily in some pubs. They don’t half pong.

But when the pub is shut because of a global pandemic, then what?

With local boozers having to close their doors due to COVID-19, the good people and true of CRAPPPS Nottinghamshire took to the internet to perform their 2020 St George’s Play back in April. Cast members recorded their lines and music from the comfort (?) of their own homes and doorsteps with James Byrne and Simon Carter frantically gluing together all of the pieces afterwards.

The result is one of the oddest short films you’ll probably ever see, but worth every second of effort for the £200 made for this year’s chosen charity, Arnold Food Bank.

At the time of writing, several months later in December 2020, it’s uncertain whether we’ll be able to return to live performance anytime soon. Plans for our annual Plough Play have had to be put on hold as COVID restrictions continue – but we’re determined to do something to make sure that our unbroken run of more than four decades continues. Details to follow …