Thursday, August 13, 2009

Aug 5-20: The Road To Canterbury, Queen E Park

Peter Carlone was a treat as one of the Special Agents in YOU STILL CAN'T, and he's front and centre in this fun CANTERBURY update. An exciting night for the cast, last night; real-life SWAT teams, real-life scatalogical humour. Ah, the vissicitudes of site-specific theatre!

Itsazoo Productions presents
The Road to Canterbury
Queen Elizabeth Park (meet at Bloedel Conservatory)
Aug 7-20 @ 7pm
Previews Aug 5 & 6 @ 7pm
2pm matinee Saturdays, no show Sundays
604.221.6604 |
Itsazoo Productions, who brought the sold-out Grimm Tales to Mt. Douglas and Queen Elizabeth Parks last year, is pleased to present The Road to Canterbury. A modern-day re-imagining of The Canturbury Tales (by Grimm Tales author Sebastien Archibald), The Road To Canterbury, lead by a Chaucer enthusiast, takes the audience on a tour of Queen Elizabeth Park, and five of Chaucer’s tales. The Road to Canterbury runs (Vancouver).

Updated for the 21st Century, Archibald’s take on The Canterbury Tales features contemporary counterparts of Chaucer’s classic characters telling hilarious, insightful, and often sordid tales of love, power, and religion. Five tourists, who are (unbeknownst to them) modern versions of The Canterbury Tales’ classic characters, partake in a guided tour themed around Chaucer’s life and times. The tour is lead by a chipper Chaucer enthusiast, who leads the audience through the beautiful landscape of the Park. However, he quickly looses control of the proceedings when various “audience members” take over and begin telling their own stories, complete with re-written modern pop songs. The Knight is now a mercenary. The Wife of Bath has morphed into a gin-swilling British socialite. The Miller has transformed into a beatnik. The Road To Canterbury showcases the timelessness of The Canterbury Tales and the themes it explored with three main tools Chaucer would no doubt approve of: wit, satire, and music.

“This a dynamic theatrical event,” says Chelsea Haberlin, General Manager and Director of The Road to Canterbury. “The synthesis of play and audience in an outdoor environment is a one-of-a-kind experience. This show is alive, it's active and it's hilarious. Furthermore, many of the social and societal criticisms and insights exemplified in The Canterbury Tales are relevant to today.”

Founded in 2004, Itsazoo Productions is a twenty-something theatre company made up of UVic graduates. Their mandate is to create opportunities for emerging artists, produce theatre outside of the traditional playhouse setting, present theatre to a younger and more diverse audience, and to produce new Canadian plays. 2008-09 marked their first theatre season, with four plays produced. They were recently named “Favorite New Theatre Company” by The Westender, and were nominated for their first Jessie Richardson Theatre Award.

From Adrian Chamberlain, The Times-Colonist:
Vancouver playwright Sebastien Archibald has adapted five of Chaucer's stories for Itsazoo Productions. The troupe of talented 20-somethings (many of them University of Victoria theatre grads) do justice to Archibald's madcap opus, which aims primarily to tap into a contemporary comic sensibility.

If you enjoy Saturday Night Live, Little Britain and other sketch-comedy shows, you'll get a kick from the sharply conceived Road to Canterbury. Added plus: Seeing theatre in a oceanside park is a great way to beat the heat.

PS from Ron and the wife of Bath...
"Purity in body and heart
May please some--as for me, I make no boast.
For, as you know, no master of a household
Has all of his utensils made of gold;
Some are wood, and yet they are of use.
The Lord calls folk to Him in many ways,
And each has his particular gift from God,
Some this, some that, even as He thinks good."

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