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DIT Conservatory to present The Canterbury Tales March 11-14

Posted: 11 February, 2015

DIT Conservatory puts new twist on The Canterbury Tales

The graduating drama students of DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama will present a fresh adaptation of The Canterbury Tales, 11-14 March in the stunning surroundings of the Banquet Hall at Smock Alley Theatre.

In Geoffrey Chaucer’s epic collection of tales, a group of medieval pilgrims gather in the Tabard Inn to eat, drink and entertain each other with stories as they set out on pilgrimage to Canterbury. Unlike the modern connotations of sacrifice and austerity, medieval pilgrimage was a time of celebration and holiday, when upper and lower classes mixed and rigid social norms were relaxed. What happened in the Tabard Inn stayed in the Tabard Inn!

Enacting Chaucer’s tales of ideal romance, hard-hitting realism and outrageous comedy, the students of DIT Conservatory put a new twist on this classic drama, with a narrative that mixes the medieval and the contemporary.  Mirroring the drama on stage, audiences will be seated at banqueting tables and will be treated to a light meal and complimentary drink during the performance (included in the ticket price), provided by the School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology at DIT. The performance also incorporates original music by DIT Conservatory composer Glen Austin and video designs by DIT School of Art, Design and Printing. The historical Banquet Hall of Smock Alley Theatre, with its high brick walls and stained-glass windows, completes the atmospheric setting of the production, promising a unique and memorable theatrical experience.

The play is adapted and directed by Peter McDermott, a member of the vibrant Drama team at DIT Conservatory, who says, "The Canterbury Tales is more than a piece of theatre. It is an event and an experience. As well as a mixture of drama, comedy and romance, this adaptation has singing, dancing, eating, drinking, a sword fight, a pub brawl, a chase . . .  Most of all, it is a communal coming-together where we share stories, break bread, toast each other and perhaps even rediscover a part of ourselves."

The Canterbury Tales is one of a series of public performances in 2015 celebrating the 125th anniversary of DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama (1890-2015).