The Canterbury Tales Remixed

Reviewer's rating

If you are looking for a comedy masterpiece, this is the show for you. It was hard work persuading comedy loving friends that a Chaucerian themed show would be a good way of spending an hour at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. However, from the first minute of The Canterbury Tales Remixed they were confident that this show would surpass all expectations. Baba Brinkman and DJ Mr Simmonds have created an outstanding and polished show that without a doubt stands as the highlight of my hectic weekend in Edinburgh.

This unique and highly impressive show combines rap, hip hop beats, images and powerful story-telling to bring Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales back to life. Baba Brinkman, a rap artist as well as a graduate of Medieval Literature studies has created a spectacular show in which he tells us four of the pilgrims’ tales in a manner far removed from our memories of reading Chaucer at school or university. He tries out the middle English on us but quickly abandons that in favour of engaging, clever and witty rap, full of the naughtiness integral to the original Canterbury Tales. The greed of the pardoner, the sex-obsessed nun’s priest, the jealous merchant and the wife of Bath who knows exactly how she wants her men to behave: Brinkman reminds that these tales are far from old fashioned. We get fights, poison, knights, sex, infidelity, romance, gender wars and much more, all mixed with a wonderful Chaucerian crudeness.

You don’t expect to find a superbly talented DJ as an accompanist to the Canterbury Tales. But you certainly get a surprise in The Canterbury Tales Remixed. Mr Simmonds is a genius on the decks. He composed the music himself, playfully inserting well known hip hop into the mix, mirroring the references and allusions that are so key to Chaucer’s own stories. Brinkman and Simmonds work together as one instrument, presenting a new way to tell stories, re-enact the power of the bard and bring the medieval minstrel into the modern day.

If you enjoy Chaucerian tales, this is the show for you. If you enjoy rap, hip hop and the talents of the DJ, this is also the show for you. If you enjoy comedy, allow yourself to experience work of the highest quality and go to see The Canterbury Tales Remixed.Baba Brinkman and Mr Simmonds have created a spectacular show that sets the bar high for comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe.