Chaucer in the open air at Thorp Perrow

Thorp Perrow Arboretum
Thorp Perrow Arboretum

A MEDIEVAL market with the chance to kiss the Wife of Bath - a new version of The Canterbury Tales is promising an entertaining time at Thorp Perrow Arboretum in Bedale.

The show, to be held on Saturday, September 3, comes at nearly the end of a three-month national tour by The Pantaloons open air theatre company.

The show is a theatrical first as it is the first time all of Chaucer’s tales have been done in one go and sees a cast of six perform all 70 characters. One actor even plays 22 roles!

Each tale takes on a different theatrical style from pantomime Shakespeare to puppetry and opera via a joke.

Mark Hayward, co-producer and co-author, said: “It’s all about being faithful to the original text whilst making it relevant to a modern audience.

“It’s a tricky line to walk but as we were translating we realised that the key things were to keep it accessible and keep it funny.”

Good reviews in the press have seen the show hailed by Ken Russell in The Times as “part alternative rock band, part thespian and part performance art” and “brilliant” in The Daily Telegraph.

There is also a medieval market beforehand whereby audience members can interact with the characters, buy their wares and even kiss the Wife of Bath!

l Tickets costing £10/£7 are available from 01677 425323. More information at