“Feared by the bad, loved by the good... Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood.”
Not everyone in the audience at the Ropetackle in Shoreham on Monday night recognised the catchy tune from which that line comes from but I’m sure they know it now and it has been popping into their heads ever since.
It certainly has for me, although I’ll admit I was one of those who knew the song. I didn’t, however, know the dance moves – but I do now!
My two children, aged three and six, didn’t even know the traditional story of Robin Hood, and they still don’t in fairness, but they do now know that pantos at the Ropetackle are packed with pure family fun and entertainment.
LP Creatives have pulled out all the stops when it comes to the must-have panto ingredients of dodgy jokes, silliness and audience participation in the company’s seventh production at the arts centre.
There were boos, cheers and chants of ‘oh yes he is’ aplenty. This was intertwined with a good scattering of well-known songs, performed to a high standard, and some not-so well known but enjoyable scenes of Robin Hood doing his best to protect Sherwood Forest from the evil Sheriff of Nottingham and be with his love the Maid Marion.
Jack Callagan, Jordan Brett and Sophie Baxter who played the three leading roles did so with huge enthusiasm and all brought something different to the characters as we know them. Jack brought Robin Hood to life and wasn’t so much ‘feared’ but could melt the hearts of the good and bad with his constant happy and bouncy persona.
Sophie was a lovely Maid Marion but really came to life in the second act when she undergoes an unusual transformation, which I won’t give away for those yet to see the show.
Jordan was a brilliant baddie, exuding confidence in the face of the boos but also adding some comedy elements, too.
I must also mention Laura Hyde as Deadly Nightshade and David Lambert as Dame Nora Bone. They were the perfect additions to the cast and had us all laughing out loud. The youngsters involved were also fantastic and clearly loved being part of the production.
This was my first time at the Ropetackle and I was impressed. Yes, the stage is pretty cosy, but that just adds to a feeling of being part of the show. I loved the fact the children in the audience could sit on mats directly in front of the stage, giving them a great view while giving some parents a break from having their knees squashed by little ones who refuse to sit in their own seats.
My children and I loved Robin Hood. It is on until December 31 and tickets (adults £15 and children £14) can be booked at ropetacklecentre.co.uk or by calling 01273 464440.