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Canterbury Tales

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Tuesday 5 July 2005 12.56pm
Additional thanks to Ivanhoe for thinking of bringing a flask of brandy.
Tuesday 5 July 2005 2.10pm
A less than complementary review of TCT was brought to my attention today - and [as you know TUMJ] those of us who have had to listen to the 'jolly' medieval music at [very] over amplified volume every time it hits St Georges Gardens may be inclined to agree with the comment the reviewer makes that "it seems to have been scripted by the producers of Playschool with occasional contributions from the Carry On team.......of the subtlety, irony and beauty of Chaucer, nary a trace remains.' The review concludes with the comment "Experiencing it sober proves a pilgrimage of an entirely penitential kind", though he does add that the audience "gave a good impression of enjoying it."

Sounds as though Chaucer deserved better. At least the reviewer made some nice comments about the various settings and "this magical part of London".

I think the vagrant who tried to pee on the generator in the park had the right idea, so I'm tempted to get into the spirit of things tonight by replicating the medieval method of waste disposal - from a great height, but for the fact that I would probably get struck off the Residents Committee. So, once again, when the band strikes up maybe I'll just go to the pub for a quiet pint of mead instead. Bah! Humbug!

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 5 July 2005 2.12pm by janefs.
Tuesday 5 July 2005 3.07pm
We had a great time and the performance is highly recommended. As Mrs I put it very rightly: there is a lot of history to celebrate in our neighbourhood. And so we did. It was lovely.
Tuesday 5 July 2005 3.21pm
I'm not passing judgement on those who had a good time. However, having to listen over again to that part of the performance that takes place in St Georges Gardens is pretty excrutiating - the sound levels are well over the volume needed to reach the audience in a relatively small walled area. The audience for each evening I've witnessed is not very large either - I know actors are often miked-up these days and it would be impossible to stage it without amplification, [though Chaucer managed] but I doubt the volume needs to be cranked up quite so much.
Tuesday 5 July 2005 3.28pm
I think it must be something to do with where the speakers are pointing as well Jane. It wasn't so loud when you were in the garden. Perhaps the set-up is thoughtfully optimised so that it's at its loudest for you and Siduhe.

...if you press it, they will come.
Tuesday 5 July 2005 3.47pm
No worries, Jane, I did not take it as passing a judgement. I can well imagine that it must do your head in.
Tuesday 5 July 2005 4.13pm
Yes, much as I enjoyed it, I wouldn't want to listen to it again at the same time every day for weeks, when I was trying to get on with something else.
Wednesday 6 July 2005 8.18pm

One great rule of having a good night in SE1 or anywhere else in London; ignore the arch snobbery of theatre critics, trust your instincts and go along with an open mind. Thoroughly enjoyed it, despite the rain last night, and made me very glad to have lived and worked in such a historic and diverse Borough.

The amplification seemed about right for an open air venue and a lot less than the emergency services treat us to most nights in SE1. As for whether Chaucer was undersold, all I can say is that I for one left resolved to get round to reading the Tales in their original form.

Its on until Sunday, give it a shot.

Wednesday 6 July 2005 8.33pm
Whoever 'Janet' is, I'm sure she doesn't need a condescending lecture in how to enjoy herself any more than I do.
Thursday 7 July 2005 12.57pm

Apologies with my simple error with your name and I didn't intend to offend but I don't like the sniping, negative tone on this forum (qv London 2012 thread) and I like it even less when it's second hand sniping. My congrats to Southwark playhouse for putting on a good production that also succeeds as a community event.

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