Printable CopyROBIN THE HOOD
Noarlunga Uniting Church Hall
Until 10 Apr 2021

Review by Janice Bailey

Community Theatre holds a very valuable and necessary place in the world of theatre. The desire and need to ’perform’ and provide entertainment to others goes back probably even before Shakespeare. There is nothing more rewarding for a theatre company to provide entertainment to an appreciative audience. Performers and audiences certainly realized this during last year’s pandemic. Phoenix Variety and Music Group are finally able to pool all their resources of volunteers needed to provide a fun show in the form of an adult pantomime to an appreciative audience.

“Robin the Hood”, written by Mary McMahon and Simon Denver is an ‘adult pantomime’ directed by Myles Leon, produced by Manuela Steer and choreographed by Cherylene O’Brien, with the permission of Maverick Musicals and Plays and was performed at Noarlunga Uniting Church Hall on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 April.

The definition of pantomime is ‘a theatrical entertainment involving music, topical jokes and slapstick comedy and is usually based on a fairy tale’. Slapstick comedy allows the actors to exaggerate and take the action to extremes – sometimes this can be taken too far so it may seem self-indulgent. In the majority of cases in this production the actors were well-controlled and therefore the action was at times hilarious and it was obvious that the audience thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

As well as choreographing and assistant directing and co-ordinating costumes, Cher O’Brien took on the roles of Robin Hood and William Tell with energy and effervescence and her energy was transferred to the other characters whenever she was on stage. Justine Lewis as Maid Marian was suitably ‘sweet and somewhat vacuous’ as the Damsel in Distress. Linda Edwards, an experienced actress in the works of Shakespeare, displayed her comedic ability as Ben the Town Cryer and Bluebird. Wendy Williams was effective as Queen Isabella, keeping Bad King John in his place. George Kemp took on the role of Bad King John with gusto. The role of the Sheriff of Snottingham was played with conviction by Shaun Taylor. As Marlene the Sorceress, Deb Kellaway has a striking presence on stage and was very believable in her role. Deb Waller was effectively cast as Little John and made the most of her stage moments. Annette Paterson as Will Scarlett, Chelyah Tandler as Ivy and Gretel, Jude Tebby as Rose and Peasant, Ellie Miles as Friar Tuck, Josh Paterson as Alan a Dale, Clien Tell and King Richard and Triston Anleu as Prickles, Guard and Fairy all contributed to the success of this show.

A show cannot happen without the assistance of the technical and front of house crews and they all need to be congratulated for their important contribution.

After the effects of Covid over the past twelve months it is wonderful to see live shows ‘back in town’ and I look forward to seeing what Phoenix Variety and Music Group offer next.