Tale of our Time is based on The Prioress’ Tale, one of the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. The story is an example of a class of stories, popular at the time, known as the miracles of the Virgin which contains elements of common story of a pious child killed by the enemies of the faith. In Chaucer’s original text, these were the Jews, set in an un-named city in Asia. The piece was criticised for its anti-Semitism (though analysts have often pondered as to whether Chaucer was mocking the Prioress and her viewpoint).
In the interpretation by Helen Newall and Matt Baker, the young boy walks through the twisted streets in the ‘Quarter of the Infidel’ on his way to school. Upon hearing the song to Mary, Mother of God ‘Alma Redemptoris Mater’ he decides he will learn to sing this for his mother on Christmas Day. The devil enters the hearts of the infidel and the ‘Queen of the Infidel’ incites his murder. He is thrown into a pit. His mother searches for him in vain until a vision of Jesus comforts her and leads her to his body. Astonishingly the chant ‘Alma Redemptoris Mater’ can still be heard from the mouth of the boy………
The students have worked very hard in rehearsing the many musical and dramatic parts to this small operetta, and finding a context for a highly contentious plot which may reflect the tensions in our world today, and which the students decided can often be based on conflict of religion and doctrine.
Written by Helen Newall and Matt Baker
Additional Text The company
Direction Matt Baker, Joe Mann, Cariad Morgan
Stage Management Erin Elston
Company Management Julie Elston
Archie Pytches, Anwyn Bevan-Jones, Callum McCaig, Celyn Bevan-Jones, Daisy Appleby, Elise Davis Tormey, Elizabeth Cosme, Eve Leighton , Feana Salisbury, Florence Johnston, George Bengree, Hannah Ball, Holly Dawson, Juliette Gilchrist , Katie Worthington, Katy Hall, Lauren Lees, Layla Rodrigues, Lily Adams, Lucy Bradburn, Molly Jewsbury, Pheobe Orsmond,
Theo Lavin, Sam Kelly, Rachel Devaney, Rosie Crinson