The pilgrims of Newarke in 1378 are making their way south along the road to Canterbury. They need to rest awhile but wish to tell their Tales to the people of Stamford and Rochester.
The Newarke Canterbury Tales owe a debt to Geoffrey Chaucer. They are set in 1378 and borrow one of his characters, The Wife of Bath, but in other ways are very different. Chaucer's pilgrims told all their stories in an inn in south London, and never stepped outside. The Newarke pilgrims, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, are travelling all the way from Newark in the East Midlands to Canterbury and will be performing their Tales in the Crypt at Rochester Cathedral on Monday 14th January at 7pm.
These new Tales, written by Professor Peter Tyrer of Imperial College, include a cameo from Sir John Arderne, the father of English surgery, the Wife of Bath as an early feminist icon, assisted by aspiring chess board pawns, and a dastardly game of intrigue and derring-do between the gods of Mount Olympus, in which the nine-headed dog, Cerberus, guarding the Gates of Hell, plays a major role.
Tickets for the Tales, said by one reviewer to be a riotous display of early English comedy, with mediaeval music from Colin Dudman, cost £15 and are available from Dr Catherine Gardiner in Rochester