YOU CAN’T KEEP THESE TWO ‘MERRY MEN’ DOWN - Writers offer new Musical Comedy free of charge!

So what did you do during lockdown…. endless puzzles? read a ton of books? Cleared out the house/shed/garage? …. while many of us agonised or got lost in box sets and Netflix.... two talented men with time and furlough on their hands... found a way of getting back together to write a new musical:

Okay, they do have form in such matters, having previously penned two successful musical shows,  a writing union which began back in 2011 when Eastern region NODA members, Ian Cook and Ian Newton,  decided to try their hand at writing a musical show. Their first, a comedy called ‘The Reunion’, was staged in 2013 by the Waveney Light Opera Group (WLOG) in Beccles, Suffolk and was a great success; watched by NODA representatives, the Eastern region Councillor and the National President who was so impressed he awarded ‘The Reunion’ the prestigious President’s cup at the National NODA AGM later that year.

Buoyed by their success the pair started work on a follow up and three years later WLOG presented their second musical entitled ’The Best Man’, which was nominated for a NODA award.  Both shows have been picked up by Stagescripts and have been performed by several societies across the UK.

In 2019 the pair started work on show number three, Ian Cook said “we got off to a great start, but when the pandemic lockdown put an end to working together around a piano, new methods of writing had to be found”.  After mastering Zoom, FaceTime and endless phone calls and emails Ian said, “we worked out a way we could carry on using all sorts of tech, even virtually recording local singers to create backing tracks”.  Twelve months of hard work later, they have emerged with another musical comedy, entitled “The Ballad of Robyn Hood”.

 Aiming for and with fingers crossed for a hat trick of awards the two Ian’s have done it again.  With laugh out loud scenes, interesting twists and a broad mix of characters The Ballad of Robyn Hood is another ‘feel good’ musical.  The music is catchy and memorable with lyrics that carry the story line perfectly. Written for three keyboards, bass and percussion, a relatively straightforward costume and set requirement and the availability of rehearsal and backing tracks this show should be a winner.

Given the damaging effect COVID19 has had on amateur theatre, the writers Ian Cook and Ian Newton,  have made a decision to offer “The Ballad of Robyn Hood”  free of charge, for a limited period only, to NODA societies with the proviso that a donation is made to an NHS charity.  

If you are interested in finding out more about the show and would like a perusal copy then please email :

For information on their previous musicals and many other great shows go to