Robin Hood might be a popular tale retold numerous times in many different styles, but there’s a pretty good chance that there’s been nothing quite like the production that currently graces the stage at the egg theatre Bath until 15 January. With four actors playing all the parts, great songs, a hugely talented cast and even an in-house ska band to accompany the action, this has got to be one of the best pieces of theatre in town, with a show that the whole family is going to love.
Played in the round and using every inch of available space, this wonderfully energetic performance starts with four characters huddled around a fire, discussing the fables of an outlaw called Robin who stole from the rich and gave the poor. As the action gathers pace, we’re introduced to Robin himself, his band of merry men, the evil Sheriff of Nottingham and a host of characters beyond.
The result is simply wonderful, with oodles of action, comedy and huge talent. From one of the cast introducing the audience to his invisible dog – “Careful, he bites,” we’re warned – to engaging harmonies, funked up dance routines, a dash of romance (much to my nine-year-old sons distaste) and some fancy fight scenes, there’s so much to enjoy. The cast is simply magnificent, with Peter Edwards introducing us to the daring lead with a energetic enthusiasm that’s impossible not to like, Nik Howden a suitable devilish Sheriff of Nottingham, Rebecca Killick a brave action hero Maid Marion and, almost stealing the show, Stephen Leask simply superb as the petulant and childlike Prince John, Friar Tuck, Little John and many more beside. In fact, the whole cast take on any number of roles, as well as showing a real talent for well-rehearsed harmonies and a great comic touch.
And like any good Christmas show, the audience are encouraged – not that this audience seemed to need much encouragement – to join in, rallying against the evil Prince, misleading the Sheriff in his search for Robin and with lucky lads even allowed to enter a sack race against the evil baddie.
This is simply a faultless production, perfectly paced and timed, and offering everything that a family could want for a great night out. Yes, it is Christmas and no, it’s not a pantomime, and as much as I love a good panto (oh yes I do…), Robin Hood is all the better for its lack of a celebrity cast and rehashed popular tunes from the hit parade. This is clever, talented family theatre at its best, something that the egg theatre is so good at unearthing and presenting.
I really can’t recommend this show enough – an absolute treat!
ROBIN HOOD is at the egg theatre from Thursday 8 December 2016 to Sunday 15 January 2017. Tickets are on sale now at £18 adults / £12 children and students (booking fees apply) – contact the egg theatre on 01225 823409 to book, and for more information including detailed performance schedule and schools discounts.