While Medieval Times is known for a medieval-style dinner and show, once you’ve seen it, it’s not too much fun going back. And sometimes you want a bit of comedy with your mead. Enter Medieval Madness, dinner theatre alternative right outside of Washington, DC that’s part feast, part comedy show, and all fun.
Located in Old Town, Alexandria, Medieval Madness was created by a family who is passionate about entertaining. You needn’t see the same show more than once- they write new scripts regularly and once a show run ends, that script is never used again.
Upon entering the hall, you are greeted by beautifully-dressed maidens and, perhaps, a naughty friar who has been forced to take a vow of silence (but don’t worry- he will carry signs to let you know his current mood…or to offer you a glimpse under his robe for 5 pence). You are seated at a family-style table with the rest of the audience.
The menu is regularly updated. We went to the premiere of their newest feast which included rolls, butter, blackberries, and a heavenly pear sauce that, if given the option, I would consume daily. The next course included peas, amazing sausage that made even this non-pork-eating-gal swoon, and a wonderful meat pie with cranberries. The entree was some of the juiciest chicken that I’ve ever eaten along with rice with blueberries. The meal concluded with hardened bread reminiscent of gingerbread with a strawberry creme sauce. Vegetarian options are also available upon request. We ate so much that our bellies felt like they may burst and on the drive home, we realized that we had both consumed far less than half of what they had provided for us. Meals also include either two glasses of beer or a glass of mead. I enjoyed the mead- it was one of the drier meads that I have sampled. For additional cost, you may purchase what you’d like from the Friar’s pub, featuring some of the world’s oldest beers and “wine made from the same grapes once enjoyed by the Crusaders.”
Make no mistake: this show is not meant to be taken seriously. This is decreed upon the beginning of the performance. Audience participation is welcomed as volunteers are given parts in the show. In between “scenes,” the fair maidens sing amusing songs to the diners.
And if you long for battle, you’ll be sated. A duel occurs during shows using real swords and trained swordsmen. Guests are allowed- but not required- to put money in the pot for the winner and volunteers become judges to determine who gets points for each round. Unlike at Medieval Times, you are up close to the action and are involved in each exciting moment.
You can sense how much the employees and owners of Medieval Madness enjoy their jobs and how passionate they are at ensuring that a good time is had by all.
Showtime is 7:00 PM on Thursday, Friday and Saturday Nights. There is also a Sunday Matinee at 2 PM. Tickets are only $59 per person and can be purchased via their website or by calling (703) 329-3075. Occasionally, you may find a Groupon deal for them as well so if you’re unsure about the price, keep watch!