WANT to treat the kids to a hi-energy, cheeky, action-packed five-star family panto this spring? Then you’ll thoroughly enjoy Robin Hood, which ticks all the boxes and tours the country until 31 May.
Starring handsome, rock-solid hero, Robin Hood (played by CITV Hi-5 presenter Chris Edgerley), sassy-but-sweet Maid Marian (Amanda Swift) and evil baddie, Sherriff of Rottingham (Jamie Bannerman) who clearly relished the cacophony of youthful boos and hisses, there’s plenty to enjoy.
Among a strong cast, village idiot, Silly Willy, (Tom Swift) and Friar Tuck (Jimmy Burton-Ilses) team up to provide classic slapstick with laughs, squirting water and daft faces, plus a dash of knowing adult humour with a marathon tongue twister about a pheasant plucker. Meanwhile Britain’s Got Talent impressionist, Philip Green, kept breaking into voices including Janet Street Porter, Kim and Aggie and Sarah Millican.
Robin Hood’s an age-old tale with the wicked Sherriff of Rottingham robbing the poor through eye-wateringly high taxes to pay for his own cunning plans, before kidnapping Maid Marion and banishing her to jail to marry her under duress. But wait, there’s a modern twist...
To rescue Marion, Robin and his band of Merry Men must plot to enter their tailor-made version of Sherwood’s Got Talent to flush out Marion and win the day but will they rescue her in the nick of time?
I won’t spoil the outcome but watch out for the cloaked interloper who hobbles onstage, doubled over while carrying his giveaway bow and arrow just as ‘Big John’ (Josh Bennett from Harry Potter) makes a surreally eye-catching medieval traffic cone to divert attention. The bond between Robin and Marion was sweetly touching with a powerful love duet and the cast dancing and singing was excellent.
My niece Jazzy, four, was entranced by the romantic happy-ever-after-ending. Her verdict: “Like a dream come true!” The roof-raising finale sing-along, complete with audience participation (think, ‘Pepper grinder, mash potato and alligator’ moves) was brilliantly infectious and back home, three hours later; we were still singing the chorus.
Robin Hood and his Merry Men tours until 31 May across the nation.
For more, log on to www.wickedproductions.co.uk