Canterbury Tales

25 – 26 February 2014

Watford Palace Theatre, in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council Children’s Services, presents

The Canterbury Tales

By Geoffrey Chaucer

Heard the one about the Knight, the Monk, the Miller and the Wife of Bath? Well now’s your chance, as some of Chaucer’s best loved tales are brought to life by a company of four versatile actors.

As our motley bunch of medieval characters prepare for the long pilgrimage from Southwark to Canterbury, the Host of the local tavern challenges them all to a storytelling competition.

Rude, crude and sometimes downright lewd, these tales are nothing like how you remember them from school. Let the battle commence.

Suitable for school audiences from Key Stage 3 to A-Level

Adapted by Mike Poulton

Director: James Williams

Designer: Rebecca Brower

Composer / Musical Director: Christopher Peake

Accompanying DVD and other resources available.
Free Post-Show Q&A – Wednesday 26 February

Cinderella, St Albans Arena

Chris is Musical Director for CinderellaatStAlbans Arena. Here is what The Stage had to say about the production:


Published Monday 9 December 2013 at 12:04 by Katie Colombus

St Albans pantomime comes highly recommended this year. Producers Paul Hendy and Emily Wood have outdone themselves with a stellar cast and spectacular production values.

The show is chock-full of truly funny jokes, local references and well-known songs that fit into the Cinderella tale. It has the required cultural references such as What Does the Fox Say?, as well as a guest appearance by “Bruce Forthright and Twice Daily” for a ballroom dancing skit. The multi-talented cast has the entire audience joining in with the participation (even the most unwilling dads and grumpy grandpas) and there’s even a bit of fake snow for some super-psyched scouts in the middle aisles.

It is a sophisticated production, well directed, cast and choreographed. The dancing is slick and to a high standard – even in the younger members of the cast.

Gareth Gates is dreamy as Prince Charming, living up to his moniker, and CBeebies’ Andy Day as his loyal servant Dandini is excellent – appealing most to TV-watching children, but also amusing for the adults. Jemma Carlisle’s Cinderella is gorgeous, doll-like and has a sweet lilt to her singing, while Laura Jane Matthewson’s northern fairy godmother is hilarious and Bob Goulding’s Buttons is a hoot.

Design aspects are lavish (set and costumes by Helga Wood), with the ugly sisters’ costumes particularly noticeable. The gruesome twosome (played by Matthew Daines and Sam Rabone) are adorned in the brightest of garbs, resplendent at different times in velour vegetables, hideous hunting gear and leopard-print leggings. Cinderella’s gowns – and the transition into them – are dazzling, and the scenery is magnificent, with impressive props such as two miniature, white Shetland ponies to pull the carriage.

Evolution’s Cinderella is a delightful dalliance full of jolly jokes and family-friendly japes – it’s a super Christmas treat.

Fantastic Mr Fox

31 October – 2 November 2013

Watford Palace Theatre, in partnership with HCC Children’s Services, presents Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl.

Fed up of being outwitted by a cunning fox, three nasty farmers called Bogis, Bunce and Bean hatch a ruthless plan to rid themselves of this pest once and for all. Armed to the teeth with shotguns and diggers, they sit in wait ready to shoot, dig or starve him out. But Mr Fox has plans of his own, and those bungling farmers are about to be taught a lesson…

Join Fantastic Mr Fox and friends as some of the county’s most talented young performers bring Roald Dahl’s classic story to life.

Adapted by David Wood

Directed by James Williams

Music by Christopher Peake