A promotional offer reads: “If you subscribe to Medieval Times’ email list, we’ll send you chain mail!”
Photo by Maria Dhilla
Medieval Times CEO Kenneth Kim recently announced that the company would be expanding its franchise and opening a new show called Twenties Times, which will bring the glitz and glamour of the 1920s to modern audiences. The franchise has reportedly hired acclaimed historian Dr. Theodore Jefferson Eckleberg to oversee production.
“The ‘medieval’ iteration of the show was absolutely awful – rife with inaccuracies,” said Dr. Eckleberg in an interview. “Tomatoes weren’t even popularized until the late 16th century, and don’t get me started on the plates! The people of medieval Europe were far too poor to be using plates, they ate on stale pieces of bread! Contrarily, I hope my new attraction will genuinely depict the happiness that erupted across the country when the U.S. swept in to save the day and take all the credit at the end of World War I.”
Dr. Eckleberg has been “on the ground floor for every level of planning,” overseeing historical details with “painstaking accuracy and precision.” As per Dr. Eckleberg’s notes, the show will be “strictly Freudian from an analytical standpoint” but “Dadaist from an artistic visionary viewpoint.”Additionally, several changes have been made to the show’s format. Former knight actor William Godfrey, who will be swapping roles to a shell-shocked war veteran, explained the revisions: “Well, originally the knights would go ‘round and have a jousting tournament in the ring. But there weren’t really any medieval knights or tournaments in the ‘20s, so instead the audience will be watching a foxtrot dance battle get progressively more incoherent as we drink bathtub gin for three hours straight. It’s hell on my liver.”
Medieval Times employee Joan O. Arkinson further elaborated on the intoxicating contents of the new show: “If the parents in the audience want to consume alcohol to cope, they must go to a secret underground location, meet with our on-site Al Capone impersonator, and ask for ‘the goods’ while not making eye contact. If they lock eyes with ol’ Al, the coppers’ll immediately toss ‘em into the fully functional jail alongside the premises. Kids get hooch for free if they smuggle nicely!”
The differences even extend to the language used on-site. “Instead of knights choosing a ‘Queen of Love and Beauty’ from the audience, the gentlemen in the ring said they’ll be picking up a ‘Broad with Hotsy-Totsy Gams,’ which made me feel super liberated from gender roles,” said Twenties Times attendee Adelaide Hall. “Plus, us ladies finally got the right to vote on who won the dance battle!” According to the Twenties Times website, “rich, white, American men and women over the age of 18” are given ballots upon entering the premises; however, those who “aren’t rich or white” will be “tarred and feathered” if seen near the polls.
Famous critic Jason Herschberger left a semi-positive review for a pre-screening of the show: “The accuracy was off the charts. It was Freudian in the right places, and it swung into Dadaism just when it was getting saturated with Oedipus-related content. Ah, the ‘20s truly were a better time. The only inaccuracies were the inclusion of African Americans and women, as I don’t believe they existed in the 1920s. Forced diversity is really ruining the market, but the jazz performances were stellar, so I’ll give it 7/10 flappers.”
At the very end of the show, performers will reportedly “tank all attendee’s stocks and leave them destitute, but only after they leave the gift shop.” CEO Kenneth Kim has expressed his sincere hopes “that, in the next couple decades, we’ll be able to open virtual Twenties Times locations accurately depicting life in the 2020s.”