Wood will splinter and shards will fly as riders' lances collide with shields and the knights of Medieval Times will still take up swords, battles-axes and flails to compete in the dinner attraction's latest show.
Lawrenceville's Medieval Times, a castle-like venue at Discover Mills Mall that opened in 2006, is rolling out a new script, a new character, new music and a new surprise theatrical element for its second show.
Written by Medieval Times Creative Director Leigh Cordner, the script weaves together action and romance and is based on suggestions submitted by audience members who saw the previous show at the eight castles throughout the U.S. and the lone venue in Canada.
"When we started to put pen to paper,, we knew from the start we wanted to grab guests' attention from the moment they take their seats," Corder said. "This led us to the creation of the opening moment, when a new character - the prince - is ambushed and taken prisoner."
As the king and his daughter-in-law, the princess, await the prince's return from delivering a peace treaty to a neighboring kingdom, lords and ladies in the audience are invited to dine on roasted chicken, spare ribs, herb-roasted potatoes, tomato bisque soup and garlic bread as they cheer the knights competing in the tournament.
Megan Schiereck is living many little girls' dreams of being a princess. The 20-year-old has been one of three primary princesses at Medieval Times since the Lawrenceville location opened in 2006.
"It's a lot of fun to see little girls come in and think that you are a real princess," said Schiereck, who lives in Lawrenceville.
In the new show, Schiereck's character, Princess Leonore, worriedly awaits her husband's return as she hosts dinner and the tournament with her father-in-law, the king.
Lawrenceville resident J.D. Kennedy, 28, plays the role of the green knight in the new show and said he is transitioning from more of a hero role to villain.
"(The green knight's) kind of an aggressor," Kennedy said. "He's out in the open, too. The whole show, you kind of know he's the enemy, just kind of in the midst of the other knights, adds a little bit of tension to the show."
Kennedy began his career with Medieval Times in California as a squire and worked his way up to head knight.
In that role, "I instruct the knights' riding, I train the knights in the jousting and fighting ... teach them to fight on a horse," Kennedy said. "I oversee the squires that perform in the show as well."
What does the head knight think audiences can expect from the new show?
"(There's) a lot more action," Kennedy said. "It's got a really, I would say, almost an epic, theatrical feel to it, almost like a movie."
Guests can see the show, which premiered Wednesday, at Medieval Times at 8 p.m. today, 5 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday.
SideBar: If You Go
· What: Medieval Times
· When: 8 p.m. today, 5 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday
· Where: Medieval Times at Discover Mills, 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville
· Cost: $49.95 plus tax for adults and $37.95 plus tax for children
· For more information: Call 1-866-543-9637 or visit www.medievaltimes.com