Robin Hood – Lighthouse, Poole

by Jeremy Miles

Robin Hood 3 (Photo Hattie Miles)

Stephanie Walker as Fairy Mary & Patrick O’Kane as the evil Sheriff. Photographs by  Hattie Miles

 

Robin Hood: Lighthouse, Poole

With a twinkle in his eye and swash here and buckle there, folk hero Robin Hood runs glorious rings around the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham in this fun-filled pantomime at Poole’s Lighthouse.

With boos and hisses aplenty Game of Thrones baddy Patrick O’Kane makes a wonderfully malevolent Sheriff – evil and pathetic in equal parts. It’s a character the kids love to hate while mum’s and dad’s can all too easily relate to the idea of an arrogant authority figure who is squeezing his people for taxes they can’t afford.

Robin Hood 4 (Photo Hattie Miles)

Ed Petrie as Robin Hood and Tom Bright as Friar Tuck

His nemesis is Robin of Loxley, banished to the depths of Sherwood Forest and branded an outlaw. This Ripping Yarns style character – confident, laid-back and played with studied insouciance by CBBC presenter Ed Petrie – proves the perfect foil to the vile villain.

One look at this stylish man of the Forest who robs the rich to give to the poor and you just know good is going to triumph over evil. At the centre of the story is Robin’s love for the beautiful Maid Marion (Alicia Woodhouse) and the Sheriff’s plan to kidnap her and steal her inheritance.

The knockabout farce that ensues is fun family entertainment every inch of the way. There are hapless thieves, Bill and Ben (Dan Looney and Neil Smye), recruited by the Sheriff to do his dirty work. They are hopeless criminals providing a touch of slapstick levity, undermining the pomposity this brilliantly monstrous ‘king leer’.

Writer and director Tom Bright meanwhile draws on decades of working the northern clubs to deliver a perfectly pantomimic reading of Friar Tuck. What emerges is a pork-pie obsessed monk who morphs seamlessly into this panto’s dame – one Gladys Windybottom.

Produced under the seasoned eye of Robin Cave, this really is a pantomime which has everything, though of course it probably isn’t technically a pantomime at all. Never mind. – the main components are there. Goodies, baddies, crazy capers, talented young dancers and even a good fairy( Stephanie Walker). There’s singalong fun, a neat little band in the pit and a fine set too.

A show not to be missed. Robin Hood plays Lighthouse in Poole until Sunday 4th January. For Tickets & information call 0844 406 8666 or go to www.lighthousepoole.co.uk

 

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