It seems churlish to complain that I’ve just been seeing too many shows lately, but, well, I’m backlogged three reviews from the nine plays I’ve seen in the last seven days and I don’t know how I’m going to catch up. So I’m writing about what I enjoyed most first, and in this case, I want to tell the world that Robin Hood at the Greenwich Theater is a damned fun show and absolutely worth heading out into parts somewhat less known in order to see it (it’s only ten minutes walk from the rail station and really not that hard to find).
The story really isn’t much – Robin Hood is tweaking the nose of the Sheriff of Nottingham (which was very much reminding me of George Osborne, only slim and sexy with some really killer boots) by stealing money from him that the Sheriff is stealing from the poor (of course in real life the “sheriff” forgets to steal from the rich, i.e. Starbucks and Vodafone – really, the parallels with modern politics were so obvious!). Meanwhile, the Sheriff has got his hands on Maid Marion, Robin Hood’s childhood sweetheart, and has decided he’s going to marry her to get his hands on her wealth. So far so good – but the supporting characters are SUCH a hoot, starting with the “Camp Minstrel” (in a blue kilt and tam o’ shanter), Friar Tuck (the cook – lots of “fryer” jokes going on), and the Sheriff’s evil henchwoman (Caroline Koutsoudes), who for some reason was a Spanish witch (go figure). My favorite amongst ALL the characters was not, however, the Naughty Nursey dame (Andrew Pollard, who as he wrote this thing as well as starring in it is a genius in my book), but Arabella Roderigo as Marion, who whips off her damsel rags and tosses distress out the window to reveal herself as a warrior princes! She shoots a bow, she defeats evil, she belts out a ballad and makes it all look fun. What a talent! After complaining about how damned saccharine all of the female leads seemed to be, finally one that makes me want to cheer. Hooray for Caroline!
Er, I mean, “Robin Hood,” at least per the audience call back. As for the REST of the show, it was a good time from start to finish, with lots of bad puns, slightly risque jokes (pulling on my dingaling, MY) that I think were entirely understood by the audience of eight year olds, a slapstick number involving Tuck and Nursie “curing” the bum-hanging-out Sheriff, a running joke about the Minstrel’s unsung song, and piles and piles of songs that ranged from disco to modern. Bonus: when THIS show did “Gangnam Style,” the ENTIRE AUDIENCE leapt to their feet and danced along! My God! Such enthusiasm! That said, it was SO well placed and so well deserved, because this was a fun, fun show that had me clapping and giggling and booing and shouting at the stage all the way through. Greenwich Theater’s Robin Hood is an utter success, and I know I’ll be back to see it again next year.
(This review is for the matinee performance that took place on Thursday, December 6th, 2012. It continues through Sunday, January 6th. Nice job, Mr Pollard, you are my panto hero this year!)