Port Dover, a Canadian High School, brings a simple and charming cod Arthurian fable to Church Hill. Gawain gets his Sirdom because his uncle works in the Ministry of Knighthood. He doesn’t want it; he wants to be a goat farmer. And he is a coward.
A laughing stock at the court and in the countryside, he is forced by the queen to undertake three trials – to rescue a damsel in distress, kill a dragon to steal his gold, and kill the Black Knight. He fails miserably at first, only finally to achieve his goals with the aid of Ouzo the Clown’s Magic Mead. As an advert for drugs it’s pretty good.
James Patterson’s script makes good comic play with the clash of medieval and modern. For example, Gawain asks ‘Are you really a damsel in distress?’ to which Rapunzel replies ‘What do I look like? Chopped liver?’ Gawain is a big gangling lunkhead with a penchant for saying ‘Shucks’. The costumes are particularly colourful and effective, and there are some good visual gags.
Canaan Awde makes an attractive dolt as Gawain, and Jayne Kitchen is a funny and feisty queen. However, some of the script is over-wordy, and the attention of the children in the audience wasn’t entirely held.
Needless to say, Gawain wins the hand of the princess. He also wins a goat farm and opens a dairy produce shop. A fine democratic and environmentally sound twist on an old story.