Always a pleasure; this year’s Senior Youth Theatre adaptation of Chaucer’s classic tales doesn’t fail to entertain, with perfect comedic timing and trademark “Pegler Puns”

This week, the combined forces of Bromyard, Kington and Courtyard Senior Youth Theatres come together in the Courtyard’s Main House for a re-imagining of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Following the original 14th century text, with the occasional modern twist thrown in (“did she say Dorito?”) the production tells tales of brave (and not so brave) knights, star crossed lovers, foolish husbands (and their wily wives), a dishonest miller, querulous Queen, infamous underworld gameshow Sin or No Sin, and THAT red hot poker.

From the off the story has a bit of a Monty Python sketch show feel – the smoking jacketed, pikelet munching Chaucer and the hobby-horse riding storytellers really hamming it up for all it’s worth, with some really great interaction between the cast.
In true 14th century style, many female parts are played by male cast members, allowing space for some truly hilarious gags and truly horrific wig moments. The Miller’s rambunctious daughter becomes a Pantomime Dame, complete with cringy audience participation moments and a love interest plucked from the unsuspecting audience (don’t say you weren’t warned!).

Favourite moments: The Wizard’s spoon that turns into a magnifying glass, complete with giant googly eye, and incredibly evil Soul Deadmans‘ Sin or No Sin (cue wicked cackle)

Retelling 600 year old stories on a 20 year old stage with an mean cast age of 18 years sounds a little challenging, but the 2019 re-write by Dan Pegler and Becky Cook works well for both performers and audience. If you’re looking for some serious theatre I’d suggest looking elsewhere, Shakespeare this is not – but if your tongue is firmly embedded in one cheek and you have a passion for supporting young companies then grab your Granny, grandkids and googly eye glasses and head over to The Courtyard for some silly fun with classic literature.

The Canterbury Tales runs until Saturday evening at The Courtyard with tickets priced from £10.00.

Tickets available from:
01432 340555