A Quick Guide and Reviews
A colourful adaptation of Chaucer’s 600 year’s timeless Canterbury Tales classic- The Miller’s Tale; with all its wahala is transposed to present-day Nigeria with its eclectic mix of music, dance, superstition,religion, social distinctions and colonial mentality.
Irrespective of time, place and culture, we see the parallels in human unchanging emotions, and the inevitable struggle that ensues whenever there is conflict of interests: What could have driven an otherwise amiable, church assistant to violence?
The drama charts the descent of an elderly wealthy carpenter, plagued by superstition and jealousy and his unfulfilled, over indulged, savvy teenage wife and her lovers vying for her unwinnable love.
Their household includes two loyal servants thrown together doing a job they hate and a poor, treacherous, angry student, desperate to revenge the gullible carpenter and bed his irresistible wife.
The play brings every nuance of emotion together, climaxing in interrupted midnight passion, spurned love, and grievous bodily harm, which results in mayhem and endless gossip. Ultimately, a testimony to Chaucer’s greatness in capturing the enduring complex fragile human condition of fear, envy, love, betrayal, revenge, hope, and the incessant need for hot gossip.
Chaucer’s bawdy Canterbury Tales are famous for showing that 14th century people were essentially the same as 21st century people. So I was interested when I saw that Overo, a Nigerian company, were performing an updated production which had been relocated to modern day Nigeria. The change in time and place worked very well and The Miller’s Tale: Wahala Dey Oh! certainly captured the lively spirit of the original. This is an energetic and faithful reworking, that thoroughly entertained me. FringeGuru ****
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