An intrepid reported introduces us to a medieval Nottinghamshire village, where, most unusually, it is market day. She interviews the Sheriff of Nottingham, questioning his methods of taxation, despite this publicity his henchman Smash and Grab do his dirty work and take hapless villagers prisoner, but Robin Hood promises to right these wrongs, with the help of his Merry Men, a disparate and rather inept group of outlaws ...
Robin Hood - Amy Kent
Maid Marion - Megan Abbott
Prince John - Matthew Kerslake
Dame Courgette - Hugh Pearce
Sherriff of Nottingham - Allan Lord
Little John - Sam Lord
Alan-A-Dale - Mike Cooke
Will Scarlett - Ben Robinson
Friar Tuck - Leslie Judd
Smash - Natalie Mills
Grab - Peter Fiddling
Wise Woman - Penny Cooke
Cheryl Budwiser - Eileen Haynes
The Jailer - Steve Brooks
King Richard - William Johnson
Guard One - Daniel Wagg
Guard Two - Rachel Marshall
Bear - Amy Camp
Director - Laura Anderson
Producer - Claire cooper
Musical Director - Kate Mould
Orchestra - Kate Mould, Claire Cooper and Debbie Hiles
Choreography - Penny Cooke, Laura Anderson, Claire Cooper, Jane Pearce and Jane Wallace
Stage Manager - Richard Bennett
Stage Crew - Chris Scott and Mark Girdwood
Props - Laura Anderson, Claire Cooper, Ian Anderson and Margaret Mould
Set Design and Construction - Chris Scott, Claire Cooper, Laura Anderson and Ian Anderson
Costumes - Harvey Costumes
Lights and Sounds - Barry Ayres and Terry Cook
Photography - Ian Anderson and Laura Anderson
Programme - Ian Anderson and Barry Ayres
Box Office and Front of House - Cyril Pike, Kate Carpenter, Chip Carpenter, Nerys Brooks and Friends of the Society
NODA / Lynn News Review
I CAN’T begin to tell you how good it was to back at Watlington Village Hall.
The production I had come to see was Robin Hood and although I have seen five versions of Babes in the Wood this was the first time I had seen this particular slant on those men in tights.
The auditorium was once again decorated appropriately for the title. The sets were excellent as ever with complementary light and sound by Barry Ayres and Terry Cook and first-rate costumes from Harvey Costumes. It was nice to see a return to a large chorus and all concerned worked hard even if they did seem a little unsure of some of the more complicated lyrics. Jane Pearce was mesmerising and with safe choreography the entire ensemble looked great.
There were credible performances from Natalie Mills and Peter Fiddling as villains Smash and Grab and some nice cameos from Penny Cooke as The Wise Woman and Eileen Haynes as roving reporter Cheryl Budweiser. The Merry Men all worked extremely hard with some great performances from Ben Robinson as Will Scarlett, Sam Lord as Little John and excellent caricatures from Leslie Judd as Friar Tuck and Mike Cooke as Alan – a – Dale who’s short songs were a running gag that just got funnier and funnier.
Allan Lord gave a powerful delivery as The Sherriff Of Nottingham, Megan Abbott was the perfect Maid Marion with Amy Kent equally well cast as thigh-slapping Robin Hood. I did feel that although it was a better than average script, it didn’t give them much to work with. One man who did not let the shortage of dialogue stop him turning in a real crowd pleasing performance was Steve Brooks as the Jailer who almost stole the show with a quick fire routine that had everyone falling around. I don’t think I have ever seen him so relaxed.
Society chairman Matt Kerslake seems to also have a knack for picking the right parts and as the evil Prince John he was perfect. Admittedly his oversized codpiece got as many laughs as he did but it was a first-rate characterisation from a performer who seems to have found his range.
This production would have been a lot less enjoyable without formidable Hugh Pearce as Dame Courgette. Mr Pearce handed in another outstanding performance with a sure footed, confident delivery, only looking uncomfortable during a rather shambolic sing-a-long section. My compliments to director Laura Anderson for a job well done and to musical director Kate Mould and her impressive three-piece band for some excellent music to keep things moving.