Hysterically historical

A UNIQUE, funny and entertainment family version of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales will be hitting the stage near Daventry this month.

The Wife of Bath and the Miller’s Tale will be among the popular stories being re-told for modern audiences in the historic surroundings of one of the Daventry area’s most historic homes.

A theatre group, called The Pantaloons, are to perform their own version of the classic tales, at the National Trust’s Canons Ashby House.

The performance taking place on Friday, August 19, has been translated into modern day English.

Mark Hayward, co-producer and co-author said: “It’s a modern adaptation of popular stories from the Canterbury Tales.

“It’s our own adaptation, with contemporary references to keep them up to date.

“It’s a very visual show and very slapstick, which is quite fun really. Because the original tales are quiet gory, we’ve had to change them so it’s appropriate for a family audience.”

The Pantaloons are drawn from a variety of popular theatre tradition, from stand-up comedy to silent films and pantomimes, and as a group specialise in open air and interactive performances.

With 23 different stories to fit into the performance, the small cast of six will play more than 70 characters.

Each tale will be performed in a different theatrical style, such as mime, musical and even puppetry.

The show is partway through a tour around the UK.

Mr Hayward said: “So far the tour has been fantastic. We’ve had amazing feedback. It’s a very silly show and it’s nice, as children can get involved.

“The final Tale we do is completely improvised and we take audience suggestions.

“The whole thing is something a bit different to anything you’ve ever seen before.”

The Pantaloons are also holding a kids’ theatre workshop starting at 3pm before the main performance at Canons Ashby House.

Children up to their late teens can come along and take part in activities themed around the show, including helping develop characters for the performance.

Tickets cost £7.50 for an adult and £3 for a child, with a family ticket costing £20.

The performance starts at 6.30pm. To book tickets or to receive more information, call Canons Ashby House on 01327 860 044.