Robin Hood

Posted On 13 Feb 2018 at 11:07 am

New Mutiny Theatre Company presents: Robin Hood
The Old Market
9 Feb – 17 Feb 2018

Robin Hood

By the time the hooded figure reappeared I’d forgotten the conceit of the play’s structure and yet, looking sideways at the seven year old – remarkably – he was engaged. For a longer than expected running time this ending was a pleasant surprise. Robin Hood at the Old Market is a new production from New Mutiny Theatre Company. Formed out of Bristol Old Vic Theatre school they’ve received good reviews for their re-imagining of Shakespeare and aim, in their words, to produce “music, vibrant worlds and playful characters. Combining these with classic, well loved stories, we create theatre that is not only fun and engaging but also thought provoking, raw and honest for kids and adults alike.”

This is a young, dynamic cast who – after a bit of a slow start – got the energy up with some great fight scenes. Kids’ theatre has a hard job. On the one hand it has to be accessible to the age range its aimed at. On the other, kids don’t typically visit theatres on their own so you want to appeal to those who bring them. This production of Robin Hood held the attention of my seven year old but how did it fare for the adult?

There were moments when I engaged more fully – in particular when the logistical issues with single actors playing multiple roles were noted, and played with within the story. But this more knowing nod to what was going on was all too rare in a set-up that certainly had room for more. For instance, take the bags of gold that were repeatedly stolen, recovered and stolen again. Gold is heavy – this we all know. And yet their gold was so light, like little cushions being thrown about, slapped in each other’s faces. Why not play, for comedic effect, on the fact that we have such light cushions of gold and gold is heavy? But, these quibbles aside, an engaging, energetic take on a classic tale.

Well, let’s see what the seven year old thought:

“I thought Robin hood was brilliant particularly because of the end and start. I also liked it because of the really good back story! I didn’t like that it was a bit too long. I thought the set was ok, but at some time I couldn’t really imagine a forest! Overall I would give it an 8 out of 10.”

That seems like a fair appraisal – my job is done!

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