Region 5 - Sylvia Blogg
This original script, written by three talents members of the society, departed greatly from the traditional story of Robin Hood, the main difference being the depiction of Robin as a comic anti-hero, a Simple Simon knockabout figure, ably performed by Craig Mitchell. In spite of his comic antics, his dialogue could always be heard and understood. The love interest was subdued, Robin's lady love being, not Maid Marian, but the Lady Magnolia, played energetically by Sally Reynolds. Paul Austen was a vulnerable Sheriff Blackthorn, a tragic-comic character controlled by his domineering mother, Hemlock Blackthorn (Michelle Friday) who personified Evil. What a cheer came from the audience when the Sheriff finally confronted her and overthrew her authority over him.
The adult performers all had clear diction and projection well, especially Ben Friday as Ash, Diane Sharpe as Laurel, the cook, and Rita Taylor as Hazel. The two latter artistes gave a spirited rendering of "Anything You Can Do". Unfortunately, much of the story depended on the dialogue between some of the children and this lacked clarity and was therefore unintelligible. This hindered the understanding of of the plot for the first quarter of an hour; it was very difficult to follow the story line. After that there was an improvement although there was too much talking across the stage instead of delivering lines half turned towards the audience.
Four dancers represented Air, (Lauren Friday) Earth, (Abby Davies) Fire (Charle Evans) and Water, (Anna Davies). Their costumes and make-up were very effective and they danced gracefully. Two youngsters did speak and act well; Emily Davies as Yew and Lee Clark as King Rowan. Shanie Murray gave a sympathetic portrayal of Friar Larch. This was a real children's pantomime and included a large juvenile cast. The whole company displayed verve and enthusiasm.
The outstanding feature of this production was the very high standard of set design and scenery. It was quite professional and both were executed entirely by the company.