ADC Theatre
Tue 9 - Sat 13 July

Canterbury Tales

Geoffrey Chaucer, adapted in modern English by Nick Warburton

Content warning [May contain spoilers]

Nick Warburton, screenwriter and playwright, a writer for The Archers, and who has also adapted many classic works for Radio 4’s Classic Serial, now brings you a new staged adaptation of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Originally adapted by Nick for BBC Radio 4’s The Archers in 2018, six tales from that version have now been readapted for the stage.

A raggle-taggle band of pilgrims – common working folk, some kings and queens, and the odd shady priest – pauses on its way to Canterbury. The pilgrims stretch their legs, take a little refreshment and start to tell their stories.

Here are six of Chaucer’s most vibrant tales, presented by a talented cast of fourteen.

You’ll meet the Knight, the Miller, the Wife of Bath, the Pardoner, the Friar and the Franklin who’ll spin a whole range of stories for you in lively modern English. Some will be comic and bawdy, some tender and romantic, and some will include a touch of magic.

More than thirty characters are brought to life in this new modern adaptation of Chaucer’s colourful and timeless storytelling.

This production is recommended for ages 12 and over.

"engaging, enlightening and entertaining"



120 minutes


ADC Theatre


TUE-THU £11.50-£15, FRI-SAT £13.50-£17

In this new adaptation there are a few instances of scurrilous subject matter and language from time to time.

  • Some depictions of violence in the Miller's Tale (red hot poker) and the Knight's Tale (fighting)
  • Descriptions of deaths in the Knight's Tale and the Pardoner's Tale
  • Depictions of drunkeness in the Miller's Tale and the Pardoner's Tale 
  • Mention of rape in the Wife of Bath's Tale
  • Mention of war in the Franklin's Tale
  • Descriptions of adultery in the Miller's Tale
  • The Devil as a character in the Friar's Tale

The ADC Theatre is Britain's oldest University playhouse, today administered and maintained by the University of Cambridge. Plays have been presented on the site since 1855, when the Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club (CUADC) was founded, and the society met and performed in the back room of the Hoop Inn, which stood almost exactly where the ADC Theatre stands today.  Today, the ADC Theatre is the centre of University drama in Cambridge, run almost entirely by students with no Faculty involvement. 


When you arrive at the ADC Theatre, there are power assisted doors to the Box Office. In the foyer there is a lift which leads up to the bar and auditorium. The accessible toilet is located on the ground floor across the foyer. Further information can be found here.

If you are booking a wheelchair seat in the ADC auditorium for the first time, please call the Box Office on 01223 300085 or email We will then alter the permissions of your ADC account so that you can access the wheelchair seats on our website when you book in the future. 

Complimentary tickets are available for full-time carers.

The ADC Theatre and Corpus Playroom is fitted with an infra-red audio system designed to help deaf and hard of hearing patrons. If you are using the system for the first time, please arrive early and seek advice from our Front of House team.

Assistance dogs are welcome in both of our venues. Please call the Box Office or email the above address when booking to ensure you are seated appropriately.

The Park Street car park, which is typically used by customers of the ADC Theatre, is closed until August 2024. We recommend that you park in the Grand Arcade car park (10 minute walk) or the Castle Hill car park (15 minute walk). Parking in City Council car parks is free after 6pm. You can find out more information here.


ADC Theatre
Park Street
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From the producers

23 days to go

Canterbury Tales PREVIEW

“Some are broad knock-about, some are romantic, some, as our pilgrims point out, “have a worthy point they wish to make”. And many of them have a fascinating combination of humour and seriousness. The Knight, the Miller, the Wife of Bath, the Pardoner, the Friar and the Franklin all step up, in that order, to tell their stories.”

We spoke to the creatives working on BAWDS' Canterbury Tales to find out more about the show!

Read more