A VILLAGE played host to performance of a decades-old, mysterious tradition on Boxing Day.

The Overton Mummers, donning costumes entirely made out of paper, held a show starting at Overton’s community centre, moving on to Old House at Home, before ending up at The Greyhound pub for a jolly afternoon singing carols and more.

The “confusing” play that “doesn’t make a lot of sense” featured six characters; including a king, Turkish knight, doctor and a lawyer, and the basic script remains based on one written by a former Bridge Street resident around 90 years ago.

The play however makes room for topical references from the year including Brexit, drones at Gatwick Airport and Universal Credit.

Organiser Tom Hanley said: “Some people say in Overton it is the highlight of their Christmas, it is a non-commercial thing, it is nice to all have colourful costumes all in paper.

“There’s lots of different plays throughout western Europe and west of Ireland, there are different versions everywhere

“The play is a bit confusing it doesn’t really make a lot of sense, there’s various characters like the king, lawyer, Turkish knight, doctor — they come in basically all get killed off and at the end everyone’s happy and they all go off.

“It’s all a bit mad really.”

The keen traditionalist believes the play looks at the theme of death and rebirth, but knows there are others who do not think it is anything to do with these themes.

Its origins also remain a mystery.

Tom added: “Nobody really knows, it is one of the great mysteries as much as Morris dancing, nobody really knows where that started but it is nice not to know.”

The group was pleased with the number of people that turned out for the occasion, and a charity collection in aid of St Michael’s Hospice in Basingstoke raised £404 on the day.