Review: Robin Hood (And the Babes in the Wood), Mill Volvo Tyne Volvo Theatre, Newcastle

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IF it’s good, old-fashioned fun you’re after this cracking production is spot on.

Having rolled two stories into one with the tale of Robin Hood and King Richard’s children who have been captured by the evil Sheriff of Nottingham, the action is carried on in a strong storyline that never lets up the pace.

It’s aimed 100 per cent at the children (there’s no “adult humour”, not one double entendre) and it works well because of this.

With lots of audience participation, a sweet “hoy oot”, singalong songs and lots of laughter, it’s a Christmas treat.

North East favourite Maxie Peter, who wrote and directed the show, and plays Nurse Nitty Nora, leads a cast of nine principals who performed as though they were enjoying every second of this exciting adventure.

Charlie Richmond, who plays Numpty Norman, is rapidly developing into a strong lead funny man. His charisma and energy ensure the children see him as their silly big brother while newcomer Steve Wraith, as the evil Sheriff of Nottingham, makes a good fist (excuse the pun) as a baddie – he was booed incessantly.

Janie McKenzie has emerged as an excellent lead actor.

Last year she played King Rat with aplomb and this year her singing Robin Hood was top-notch.

JoJo Hatfield (Maid Marian), Kevin O’Keefe (Friar Tuck), Stephen Gregory (Little John), Glen Joseph (Will Scarlet) and Emily Swan (Emily the Villager) all gave solid backing performances.

With well-choreographed children and adult dancers and impressively glittering costumes this was a hugely-enjoyable all-round production.

From the opening lines of: “Robin Hood, Robin Hood riding through the glen ...” I was hooked!

Ed Waugh