About Canterbury Tales (Part 1)
A new adaptation in two parts by Mike Poulton
‘A RUMBUSTIOUS AND PASSIONATE NEW STAGING. HILARIOUS’ Daily Mail
Under the sardonic eye of Chaucer himself, a group of pilgrims each recount a tale to entertain their companions on the road to Canterbury. By turns comic, bawdy and sublime, these great theatrical tales and their tellers are a vivid testimony to Chaucer’s insight into human nature.
THE KNIGHT, THE MILLER AND OTHER TALES
The pilgrims’ journey begins with the pageantry and spectacle of The Knight’s Tale as chivalrous rivals compete for their love’s affections. Later love is of a different vein in the shape of the bawdy Miller’s Tale, before the farmyard chaos of the Nun’s Priest’s Tale as the vain cockerel Chaunticleer is abducted by the wily col-fox.
THE WIFE OF BATH AND OTHER TALES
As the colourful characters near Canterbury perhaps the most famous of the pilgrims, the worldly-wise Wife of bath, regales her fellow travellers with tales of unfortunate and downtrodden husbands. In contrast the Franklin tells his romance of Arveragus, Aurelius and Dorigen steeped in the lofty ideals of chivalry and courtly love.
The two parts of The Canterbury Tales are self-contained productions, so can be watched in isolation and do not necessarily need to be seen in chronological order.
RSC Chief Associate Director Gregory Doran, who recently directed the hugely popular A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the current sell-out production of Anthony and Cleopatra is joined by directors Rebecca Gatward and Jonathan Munby to present Chaucer’s stories in styles ranging from puppetry and shadow play to opera and farce, mirroring the many narrative voices employed by Chaucer himself.
Adapter Mike Poulton’s other work includes the critically acclaimed adaptation of Fredrich Schiller’s Don Carlos with Derek Jacobi (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield and Gielgud).
‘WICKEDLY ENTERTAINING’ The Independent