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REVIEW: Robin Hood – A Musical Celebration at South Hill Park

Terry Adlam

Terry Adlam

REVIEW:  Robin Hood – A Musical Celebration at South Hill Park

Billed as a musical celebration, this production is also a theatrical celebration.

When I heard that this adaption of the legend of Sherwood Forest was to be performed in the round, I was curious as to how this would be possible in The Wilde Theatre with its abundance of seats and how director, Tristan Pate, would deal with the old theatrical adage of ‘Never have your backs to the audience’.

My curiosity was soon abated when I entered the theatre devoid of its central seats and with the as ever creative talents of set designer, Victoria Spearing, was transported into an exquisite English medieval woodland glade.

As for watching the backs of actors, all twenty of them on stage at all times, this was beautifully managed by Pate’s direction and movement director, Emma Webb, with so much technical and stage awareness that it was never a problem.  

I was expecting the traditional tale of Robin Hood, but this clever adaption had a group of villages sing, dance and act out the familiar stories in portmanteau style during their Mayday celebration, with a different person playing the lead role in each story.

This was a refreshing take on the legend that I enjoyed along with the rest of the audience and by the smiles and enthusiasm on the stage, as did the excellent ensemble cast.

This show is aimed at a family audience and if you are running out of ideas to entertain the youngsters as the summer hols draw to a close, Robin Hood – A musical celebration hits the target!

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