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1975 - 1976

Canterbury Tales

14th century England, on the road to Canterbury…

Resting at the Tabard Inn, Geoffrey Chaucer falls in with a group of Pilgrims on their way to the shrine of Thomas à Becket. Their host, Harry Bailey, decides to join them as guide and, to make the journey more pleasurable, suggests that each tell a tale, with the best storyteller to be rewarded with a meal paid by all.

The Priest is interrupted from telling his story by the drunken Miller who is allowed to tell his in order to keep the general peace. In the tale, Nicholas, a lusty Oxford student, and Absalon, a Parish Clerk, try to seduce young Alison, the wife of an old carpenter. Nicholas succeeds, but not before Absalon gets revenge for being the loser. The Reeve, a former carpenter, feels insulted by the Miller's tale and repays him with a similar tale about a thieving Miller whose wife and daughter are both seduced by two Cambridge students.

As the journey continues, the Wife of Bath gives her views on marriage, of which she has had the experience of five husbands and is now on the lookout for number six. The Merchant tells a tale of the dangers of an old man marrying a young pretty girl and of how women usually have the last say in marriage. In his tale, the aging January marries a virgin, May, and, to keep younger bloods away, continually has her by his side, especially after he mysteriously goes blind. In his private garden, however, his young servant, Damian, man- ages to lure May into a pear tree. The god Pluto restores January's sight at an awkward moment, but Pluto's wife, Proserpina, grants May a valid explanation of the goings on, thus enabling her to save herself from January's wrath.

The Wife of Bath then tells the tale of how a young knight is bid to find out what women most desire. With the help of an old hag, he is reprieved from an impending death sentence when he answers:

… desyren to have soverentyee

As wel over hir housbond as hir love,

And for to been maistrie him above;

this is your moste desyr.

As the Pilgrims approach the steps of the Cathedral, it falls to the courtly Knight to provide the solution as to whom should dominate in marriage. The secret is mutual love and respect. All agree with this dictum and that, indeed, "Love will conquer all”.

Director: Joseph L. Shaver

Musical Director: Rod Holmes

Choreographer: Wilf Dubé


Andre Danyliu

Robin, The Cook, ensemble

Barry Gardner

The Priest

Bob Lackey


Brian Smyth

The Merchant

Bruce Feather

The Knight

appearing by permisson of Actor's Equity Association

Dale Vikanes


Don Shaw

The Friar

appearing by permisson of Actor's Equity Association

Douglas Cooke

Geoffrey Chaucer, Justinus

Elsa Pickthorne

The Wife of Bath, Old Woman

appearing by permisson of Actor's Equity Association

Flo Fancott


Gerry Morris

The Miller, Gervase, Simpkin

James G. Mimnagh

Harry Bailey

Jim Perkins

Clerk of Oxford, Nicholas

Joseph L. Shaver


appearing by permisson of Actor's Equity Association

Karen Wood


Lesley Hibberd


Meredith Lee Pudney

The Prioress

Michael Gareau

John, ensemble

Myles Foster

The Reeve, Placebo, The Carpenter

Paul Gaffney


appearing by permisson of Actor's Equity Association

Richard Elichuk

The Summoner

Ron MacKenzie

Young Knight

Roy Hayden-Hinsley

King Arthur

appearing by permisson of Actor's Equity Association

Sheila Shields

Miller's Wife, Duenna

Susan Taylor

The Nun, Proserpina

Vern Fraser

The Pardoner, Absalon

York Davis

The Squire, Alan

Cher Daley


Edwidge Munn


Elaine Grimsey


Greg Glover


Heather Rutenberg


Jack Wallace


Ken Vye


Laura Belton


Nina Alexandor


Wilf Dubé



Barry Blake

Assistant Stage Manager

Bill McKinnon

House Manager (Commerce & Orpheus House)

Bill Steen

Stage Manager

Casey Krzyzanowski

Waster Carpenter

Cathy McLaughlin

Hair Stylist

Chris Terry


Dorothy Gough

Social Director

Elizabeth Ciesluk

Make-Up Artistry

Faye Lavell

Ticket Manager

Fran Smith

Assistant to the Director

Frank Burke

Assistant Conductor

Gerry Austin

Lighting Designer

J. A. Wallace

Publicity Director

Lesley McHugh

Make-Up Artistry

Lorna Rice


Marcel Carrière

Assistant Production Co-Ordinator

Margot Rothwell

Properties Designer, Set Designer

Norma Coll

Costume Designer

Paul Isaacs


Reg Bruce-Mount

Production Photographer

Rick Matheson

Production Co-Ordinator

Scott Clark

Hair Stylist

Susan Casey

Assistant Stage Manager

Tom Shields

Workshop Chairman

Tony Keenleyside

Programme Director

Canterbury Tales
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