Bawdy, saucy, lecherous, lusty, lewd,…you get the picture

The Miller’s Story: Anita Butler went along in search of Mediaeval filth — and she got it!

Gather round for Chaucer’s naughty story. You know, the one that’s a bit — ahem — ‘cheeky’. Many know the notorious bit with the window, but the surprise ending is often forgotten amid the saucy bawdiness.

Which is no bad thing. I went along craving Mediaeval filth and that is what I got. The Miller’s wife, for a start — what a woman! Actor Simon Thompson was brilliant at creating her character with a simple prop and a voice. That iconic Commedia dell’arte hooked nose took us straight to Mr Punch (well, her name is Judy). The scene where he used a member of the audience to recreate the Miller’s wooing of Judy was also inspired.

Bawdy, saucy, lecherous, lusty, lewd, this is a story that taps into the familiar templates and archetypes of Olde Englande. You’ll need to lean in a bit as, in creating an intimate atmosphere, the Miller’s voice went a bit low at times and could have done with a bit more projection. Not that this prevented me from being spellbound. Who needs a mobile phone when you have storytelling like this?

More ale? We all know what the answer to that is!

The Miller’s Story by Clown Noir is at St Anne’s Arts Centre on Sunday at 4pm.

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