The Ludlow Ledger has printed super review by Prue Britten of last December’s Robin Hood the Panto; thank you Prue!
Boys ‘Bolton and Sayer’ and the Hood
Messrs Bolton and Sayers are a very talented duo. Not only have they written and directed Robin Hood, but Simon Bolton simply had to be seen to be believed as Grayson Perry - aka Nurse Stretton.
This is a panto for all ages, with plenty of slapstick and visual gags as well as some more adult jokes and even a few thespian asides. ‘In jokes’ are definitely in, with lots about Ludlow, its shops, pubs and people and some blissfully bad rhyming couplets as well as some remarkably good swordplay.
The younger members of the company gave it their all and it was rewarding for so many members of the audience to recognise their children, grandchildren or school friends on the stage. (I’m sure we all wanted to take Flopsy and Mopsy home with us at the end of the evening).
Scotswood was made for the role
A panto without thigh-slapping is like a turkey without trimmings. This one had plenty. Arguably the most notable thigh-slapper was David Scotswood (Robin Hood). Robin’s high opinion of himself and his talents made for much loud agreement and disagreement in the audience and the cast. Scotswood was made for the role, or perhaps it was written for him. Either way he was the mortar in the wall (or the jam in the sandwich) for the show. The final fight with dummy rubber clubs giving way to larger foils and finally to even more threatening broadswords was a nice bit of business and allowed Scotswood and Simon DeVay (Sheriff) to demonstrate their talents in a proper sword fight.
Occasionally dialogue or singing was lost amid clumping of feet or sticks or through lack of projection, but a few gems - ‘Locating Nursey’s accent’, the ‘fourth wall’ reference and the ‘jaunty leather tankards’ were music to the ears of at least one member of the audience. The unobtrusive slipping in of Shakespearean quotes was apposite and, dare it be said, an indication of the erudition of the authors, not to mention an ability to show off. most welcome all.
Andy Bainbridge totally inhabited the cat
Andy Bainbridge (My Lickey) totally inhabited the cat. Hope Williams (Maid Marion) has it all - she can sing, move to good effect and is very easy on the eye. Simon DeVay (Sheriff) looked the part and had the potential to be a really scary ‘baddie’ but seemed to be holding back, both in volume and wickedness. Maybe he did not want to frighten the younger and older members of the audience.
Music, dance, costume, lighting and all production values were very good indeed. It was an inclusive, entertaining and all-round good egg - Oh yes it was…