Chortle along to Chaucer in new re-telling of tales
In a theatrical first, The Pantaloons perform every single one of the 24 completed Canterbury Tales; no mean feat considering the play features a cast of just five actors playing over 70 characters in under two hours.
To make it even harder for themselves The Pantaloons are also performing every tale in a different theatrical style with everything from Shakespeare to pantomime covered.
In this total theatre experience, audiences can expect pantomime, puppetry, masks, musicals, mime, farce, reality television, horror and opera. Even Shakespeare gets a look-in.
It follows a group of pilgrims who decide to hold a story-telling contest on the road from Southwark to the shrine of St Thomas Beckett in Canterbury. The pilgrims are from all walks of medieval life.
The plays have been transformed into modern language as Mark Hayward explains.
He said: “It’s all about being faithful to the original text whilst making it relevant to a modern audience. It’s a tricky line to walk but as we were translating we realised that the key things were to keep it accessible and keep it funny.”
“There are several tales that are like mini-plays in themselves. Famous ones like The Miller’s Tale and The Wife of Bath’s Tale deserve a proper showing. Other stories have been condensed into sketches, songs or even limericks. Many of the lesser-known tales would be rather unpalatable to a modern audience without a good pinch of irony!”