Medieval Times turns up romance in new show

Romance News ArticleThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sometimes even a king gets confused. Medieval Times in Lawerenceville, the 89,000-square-feet faux castle in the Discover Mills mall, is in the middle of changing from the show they've been doing for the last three years to a new one.

It's still a story that involves lots of swordfighting, jousting and swirly smoke and music. But there's enough new material that cast members have been occasionally blurting out lines from the old script in the middle of the new script, which then means everyone has to improvise, said Charles Grove, who usually plays the king.

"They've really brought in more romance, and that appeals to the women and also little girls," Grove said.

The new show, called "Return of the Warrior Prince," adds a subplot about a newlywed prince and princess from rival kingdoms; there's new music, and the knights are now miked for sound, so they can exclaim as they bang swords in the arena. Zounds!

While all this is going on in the large sand-covered center ring, up to 1,000 customers seated around the ring are served a utensils-free feast by "serfs" and "wenches" (vegan, kosher and gluten-free are available, but most people get the chicken and ribs).

Gwinnett's Medieval Times opened in 2006, the ninth franchise in the joust-and-feast chain. All the spots work off the same script, and the new show has been rolling out in other locations, with Atlanta the last to get it since it was the last to open.

"We listened to a lot of customer feedback, and what the customers wanted was more romance," said Katrina Stroup, marketing and sales manager.

"It's a lot more epic - it feels more like a feature film," says J.D. Kennedy, whose actual job title is Head Knight, and who plays all the roles at one time or another - except the princess.

The new script has been in "soft opening" at Medieval Times for two weeks. Its official public opening is Friday.

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