Southwark Escorts Chaucer Tales & Debuts YardsDate: 26 May 2005
Ahead of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s new epic two-part adaptation this winter (See News, 26 Apr 2005), London’s tiny Southwark Playhouse will next month have a go at staging The Canterbury Tales as a promenade production through the streets of historic Southwark where Geoffrey Chaucer’s medieval pilgrimage begins.
Written as a collection of 23 (in fact, never completed) stories between 1387 and 1400, The Canterbury Tales follows a motley group of pilgrims as they journey for five days from Southwark to Canterbury. To pass the time, each is called on to tell a story, with the best story winning its teller a grand meal.
This adaptation, by Ian Hastings and Southwark Playhouse artistic director Gareth Machin, who also directs, features five of Chaucer’s best-known and bawdiest tales. The Prologue will be performed at the George Inn, the Knight’s Tale in the Gardens of St George the Martyr, the Miller and the Nun’s Priest’s Tale in Little Dorrit’s Court, the Pardoner’s Tale at Borough Market and the Wife of Bath’s Tale in the Millennium Courtyard at Southwark Cathedral.
The cast for Southwark’s Canterbury Tales will consist of seven professional actors, two musicians and 20 members of the local community. The production runs from 28 June to 10 July 2005.
Ahead of Chaucer, from 7 to 25 June, Southwark Playhouse presents the world premiere of AN Zakarian’s A Thousand Yards, in which a newspaper picture editor, confronted with photographs of atrocities that she must select to fit the headlines, is rapidly losing her sight. Roisin McBrinn directs the Feast Theatre production which features Gerard Kearns (from TV’s Shameless). Southwark’s current resident, JM Synge’s trilogy Riders to the Sea, presented by Actors Temple in association with Public Theatre, concludes on 4 June 2005.
- by Terri Paddock