Spread the Love: The Canterbury Tales

Written by Craig Mason

This week we spread the love for The Canterbury Tales adapted by Lindsay Price from Chaucer.


Craig: Psst. Lindsay. Lindsay, what are you doing? You’re supposed to be introducing this week’s “Spread the Love.”

Lindsay: Craig, I’m very busy. I’m trying to figure out which is the right way to Canterbury. I mean, is it back there? Or is it over there? I can’t figure it out. So, since I’m sorta at an impasse, I might as well talk about this week’s “Spread the Love,” which is very conveniently– The Canterbury Tales! Adapted from the original by me, the original by Geoffrey Chaucer. In our adaptation of Geoffrey’s tale, we have eight travellers who are making a pilgrimage to Canterbury, and in order to pass the time, they decide that each of them are going to tell a story, and the best story is going to get a prize at the end. Craig, what do you love about The Canterbury Tales?

Craig: Well, what I love about The Canterbury Tales is it’s a blast to do. I got to be a part of the original workshop of the show, and we all had an awesome time doing it. Plus, it’s a really, really flexible cast. It can be done with a cast as small as eight, where the travellers themselves portray all the characters that are in the stories, or it can be done in a cast as big as thirty-five, where everyone gets a small part in all the different stories throughout the play. Lindsay, what do you love about The Canterbury Tales?

Lindsay: Well– I am an adaptation freak. I love adapting works. And, bar none, The Canterbury Tales was one of my most interesting experiences– and not for, I think what a lot of students will think. The Canterbury Tales is something they have to study in High School and, there’s no doubt about it, the language is a bear. It’s almost impossible– it’s worse than Shakespeare!– to get your head around, and it’s really impossible to get into the stories. And that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be able to show the stories as Chaucer intended in modern English, but still keeping Chaucer’s intention alive. And when you do that, you find out that the stories are fun, that they’re totally entertaining, fun to play, fun to tell, touching at times– an amazing experience. There has not been one cast who has done our version, who has come back to us and hasn’t said that they didn’t have the most wonderful time doing the play. And that’s what I love to hear– that is what makes this play exciting for me, exciting for TheatreFolk, and you should take the time and have a read of it.

Okay, we gotta get back to figuring out which way we’re supposed to go.

Craig: I think we’re going this way.

Lindsay: Okay. That way. That’s the way we’re going. That’s it for “Spread the Love!”

About the author

Craig Mason