Midsummer Medieval Madness at the Abbey

FURTHER opportunities to enjoy some tip-top theatrical moments in the beautiful surrounds of Woburn Abbey present themselves this weekend.

If the weather is fine, it will be the perfect way to while away the day and in an environment that really does have the wow factor, writes Sammy Jones.

On Saturday, Laura Turner’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility will prove quite the attraction.

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Chapterhouse Company are the team bringing this to the great outdoors for your entertainment, and it follows hot on the heels of Snow White, delivered at the end of July.

Regency wonderment rules as Elinor and Marianne Dashwood make their first forays into the excitingly decadent world of 18th century high society.

You simply settle on your picnic rug and watch the sisters as they fall in love, make mistakes and experience heartbreak for the first time in the quest to find a balance between ...you got it, Sense and Sensibility.

The performance begins at 7pm.

Grounds open for picnics from 6pm, but be warned that dogs are not allowed, so please leave Rover at home.

He can watch Casualty instead...

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> The Pantaloons open-air theatre company pick up the gauntlet on Sunday when they bring midsummer medieval madness to the fore, in a hilarious new complete version of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.

Out on a national pilgrimage, erm, we mean tour, The Pantaloons will perform every one of the 23 completed Canterbury Tales...there is a cast of just six ready to perform more than 70 characters.

And the eyes will be dancing along to pantomine, puppetry, masks, musicals, mime, farce, reality television, horror, opera and Shakespeare! The play follows a group of pilgrims who hold a story-telling contest on the road to the shrine of St Thomas A Becket in Canterbury.

The pilgrims are from all walks of medieval life and include a knight, a miller, a monk, a prioress, a shipman and a rather insatiable wife of Bath.

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

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

And the reviews have been great.

Writing in The Times, director Ken Russell called it: ‘part alternative rock band, part thespian and part performance art.’

Nice words, Ken.

Tickets are £12.95 for adults, £8.50 for children for both shows, but note that The Pantaloons will be on stage at 3pm on Sunday afternoon, and not 7pm!

Call for more info on 01525 290333.

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