Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Miller's Tale re-told

Pete Morton. Photo: Joe Dilworth

Musician and songwriter Pete Morton will present Chaucer’s The Miller’s Tale with the songs of Bob Dylan on Friday 29 July, in aid of the Quaker Tapestry Appeal.

This energetic one-man show has been described as a "mad medieval musical monologue of poetry, comedy, song and the occasional dance". This fabulous fun-filled fable from the famous Canterbury Tales is performed by Pete Morton with the help of some Dylan songs... as well as a few other classics. While keeping close to the original poetry, it is easy to follow and understandably bonkers!

A vulgar, ribald, and satirical fabliau in stark contrast to the courtly love of "The Knight's Tale" which precedes it in the original by Chaucer, "The Miller's Tale" is of an amorous student (Nicholas) who persuades his jealous landlord's much younger wife (Alison) to have sex with him. They plan a way to have sex by duping John, the landlord and a carpenter, through an elaborate scheme in which Nicholas convinces him that a flood of Biblical proportions is imminent.

Their safety depends, says Nicholas, on waiting overnight in separate tubs suspended from the rafters, and to cut their tubs from the roof when the water has risen. He adds that if the landlord tells anyone else people will think he is mad (although he says this to make sure that no man tells the landlord to see sense in the matter). This comic prank allows Nicholas and Alison the opportunity to sneak down, after the landlord falls asleep, and have sex.

After Pete’s rendition of this tawdry tale there will be a concluding dance to the music of Moorgate ceilidh band, so it's bound to be a great evening.

• The Miller’s Tale, Friday 29 July 2011, 7.30pm - 10.00pm, The Quaker Meeting House, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster (next to the railway station). Admission: £8.00 (£5.00 concessions)

• More about Pete Morton at: www.petemorton.com

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