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The Canterbury Tales gets the Northern Broadsides touch
Northern Broadsides' production of The Canterbury Tales
Northern Broadsides' production of The Canterbury Tales

Following the sell-out success of their production of Othello, starring Lenny Henry, Northern Broadsides return with another stage classic.

This time it's Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, a humourous collection of tales told by pilgrims on their way to the cathedral city of the title.

This version written by Mike Poulton, will bring to life characters written by Chaucer in the 14th Century.

Chaucer's work is seen as the start of modern English as we know it today.

Fresh from his critically acclaimed role as Iago in the aforementioned production of Othello, Conrad Nelson directs this rambunctious reworking of the most famous of medieval capers.

The scene is the Tabard Inn, London, sometime in the fourteenth century. A motley group of individuals - Knight, Cook, Miller, Squire, Wife and more - gather for their pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral.

Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer - seen by many as the father of English literature

On the way, they regale each other with colourful tales to pass the time of day and thus unfolds one of the greatest collections of stories ever told.

From love stories to rude stories, from villainy to chivalry, from mirth to merriment, The Canterbury Tales display human nature at its best, its worst and with a sly sense of humour.

Geoffrey Chaucer was born circa 1343, into a wealthy family, and his writing has been lauded by academics as the start of the use of vernacular English, rather than French or Latin which was dominant at that time in medieval history.

The Canterbury Tales, written in the 1380s, is Chaucer's most celebrated work. It was put on the silver screen by famed arthouse director Pier Paolo Pasolini in 1972, covering eight of the 24 tales and starring Pasolini himself as Chaucer.

The Canterbury Tales runs at the West Yorkshire Playhouse from Tuesday 30 March until Saturday 17 April 2010.

Digitising The Canterbury Tales
23 Mar 10 |  History


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