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Yorkshire Gig Guide - Review: Robin Hood and his Merry Mam!

Mon 17 Dec 2012

Written by Eve Winterburn

 

This is pantomime entertainment at its best, an extravaganza of costume and sets to dazzle, moments that touch and give the ahh experience and a cast that provide the Ohh factor.  

This exciting and zany production gathers pace and keeps its audience suspended in a bubble of laughter and mirth. The writer Berwick Kaler has laid out a feast of jokes and gags to entertain all ages. There is a laugh for everyone. If all pantos were like Robin Hood and his Merry Mam! they would be as essential as the Christmas tree.

Who takes the  top of the tree well it's got to be the dame Hattie Hood she /he was the butt of many jokes  and provided spill's which left the cast and audience agasp.  Played by Berwick Kaler he took every opportunity to wow this appreciative audience.

Dangling to and fro from the dizzy heights one wondered if this fun can be recreated throughout the season. Berwick Kaler as a dame is more an experience than a performance his spontaneity and passion for the role shine through.

The leafy suburbs of York hold a tenuous link with Robin Hood played by Vincent Gray who portrayed a squeaky clean Robin Hood who could win over any leading lady. He sang and danced inspired routines, along with his merry men (and women) choreographed by Brendan Mathew, which lifted the entertainment value to the pantomime.  

Suzy Cooper created a feisty Maid Marian throwing gags and spills into the farce delighting the audience, a wonderful performance and with a voice igniting passion and fervor.  She raised the spirits in her singing pure performance. In my opinion there were three leading ladies and Sian Howard as Lady Hamelot/ Broomhilda contributed towards the comedy.  Her delivery of timing and nonchalant manner made the scene when the sheriff was getting his comeuppance and the audience roared with laughter.

And of course Robin's arch-ery enemy Sheriff Hutton played by Jonathan Race. More comic than baddy but I didn’t mind at all this added to the fun. He postures and posed and threw in jokes and song lines- it was difficult to boo him (Though the audience booed enthusiastically any way). The audience, children and adults enjoyed and clapped in time to the baddies AJ Powell played by Ice Blondel and Sheriff Hutton, Jonathan Race singing under pressure.

The stage design, lighting and use of film are a delight that adds to the live action of this performance.

Mike Turnbull’s musical direction of sound and music glide through the pantomime effortlessly contributing to the dialogue and effects, the musicians picked out key moments and actions and treated the audience to improvised solo's, Nigel Harvey on percussion and Danny Hammerton on trumpet and sax with Mike Turnbull on keyboard and Ryan Govin on Bass.

There isn’t enough space to extol all the virtues of this panto. So all I can say is GO- see Robin Hood and his Merry Mam! you will be impressed with fantastic effects, scenery and costume enjoy the music and have a side splitting time.

Read the review on the Yorkshire Gig Guide website.

 

 

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