REVIEWS

Robin Hood - The Pantomime

St Mary's Church Parish Magazine Reveiw

ROBIN HOOD of BALCOMBE FOREST

Well, why not? He has been associated with so many other parts of the country, and you won’t find any better pantomime players than in this village.

But where to start the plaudits? Not easy to praise individually all the 30-strong cast and a production team of almost the same numbers; each offering their talents over 23 different Scenes, ably directed by Ronnie Whitehead.

To open the story, Shirley Michell and Isabel Gordon expertly set out our expectations of what was coming, as well as playing a double act later on. I think they had let themselves in for more than they had bargained for!

Charlie Marshall was an excellent Robin Hood (played by a girl, of course) with a charming and forceful personality and an attractive singing voice. She was not the sort of person to allow anyone to get the better of her.

The four louder characters, each fighting the others for attention, were Charles Metcalfe as the Abbot, who raised his voice, in an amusingly clerical sort of way, at the end of each of his utterances.

The others were played by Michael Mergler as the Sheriff, Jon Hunt as Sir Guy of Gisbourne, and Max Preston Bell as Prince John. What a rowdy and self- important bunch they turned out to be. There was no doubt when they were on stage, all entertaining us in their own unique way.

There was also no doubt when Rodney Saunders, all dressed up as Nurse Annie Body, simpered on. What a consummate actor he always is, and how he attracts the immediate attention of the entire cast and audience. Especially when he dresses so exquisitely and talks in such an effeminate tone of voice. Great stuff.

There were many who sang well: Izzy Rix, the jailor; Chloe Holland, as Maid Marion were two such, and we must not forget the other general adult cast voices and those of the little girl actors, too. There were a few forgotten words (strictly soon remembered) and some double entendres which made the audience laugh. Even the odd flash of underwear!!

The audience were strongly encouraged to join in, and usually responded with great enthusiasm, many were just like little children themselves. The very small ones were helped up on to the stage to try out a bit of acting: they loved it and so did we.

The Production team must not be forgotten — but how can one list them all?

The sets (constantly changing) were skillfully done. So much so that even the stage hands got clapped.

The costumes were just right for the period. The music and singing was very exciting: co—ordinated by Jacqueline Wiginton and Rachel Davies, and with David Moore the professional pianist.

Congratulations to all the teams, the Directors, and Managers. And thanks to the cast who made the performances so enjoyable.

Leslie Fairweather

Robin Hood programme (436 KB PDF file. To save, rightclick and select "save target as".)

All the photographs of this production can be viewed on the Victory Players Flickr site