Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’ may be a cornerstone of English literature, but this African adaptation proves just how universal his characters remain. Transporting the familiar pilgrims to the road to Lagos, Nigerian company Overo’s translation is a colourful spectacle, complete with singing, drumming and dance. While faithfully retelling the old story of adultery and double dealing, they slip in a few modern references, which work well as comic asides but feel underdeveloped and unnecessary as comments on contemporary concerns. If the tale itself could be have been tighter, the performance couldn’t. The ensemble display enormous energy, getting easy laughs and spontaneous applause with their squabbling, gossiping, great chemistry and obvious warmth. Their tale is bold, bright and full of heart.
C Chambers Street, 1-27 Aug, 1.15pm.
tw rating 4/5 | [Dave Fargnoli]