ROBIN HOOD

Date 17th February 2018
Society Ruthin Panto Society
Venue THEATR JOHN AMBROSE – RUTHIN
Director Polly Snape
Musical Director Polly Snape
Choreographer Hannah Medi Roberts

Report

Author: Lyn Emmerson

Written by the Director, the pantomime Robin Hood, gave the whole company the opportunity to demonstrate their talents both individually and collectively. The use of both the stage and part of the auditorium made it possible for a large cast of adults and youngsters to perform. The Director took advantage of this and made full use of the space available, including platforms down from the stage which harboured many stage props, and pieces of scenery.

The Oak Queen, Annmaria Jones and The Holly Queen, Pamela Leigh, virtual enemies, set the scene in the forest and they were responsible for linking the scenes. The scenery on the stage gave an autumn feel to the piece which cleverly changed to spring in the second act. Lovely to see twenty members of Ruthin Youth Theatre between the ages of 8 and 11 years taking part with owls, rabbits and badgers, hedgehogs, red and grey squirrels, blue birds and robins, foxes and even a deer making an appearance. Ruthin Youth Theatre is also run and managed by Polly Snape and it was great to see Young and Teenage Robin and Young and Teenage Marian as part of the cast. It was evident throughout that this young group was disciplined, and knew every word as they appeared in other scenes.

Gavin Edwards again shone in the role of Auntie Gertie, sweet talking the audience to participate in the pantomime spirit. Gavin’s singing hit all the right notes and his attire and shoes were wonderfully ‘outrageous’ to say the least. Dave Snape was very comfortable in the comedy role of Billy, and he made a valid contribution to the success of the production, not only with his antics onstage, but also designing and building the set. Gwyddfid Spencer gave a confident performance in the title role as the hero, Robin Hood. This was Gwyddfid’s first of production with the Company, and I hope the first of many. She led her band of Merry Men in many of the Musical numbers, and coped well with all her tasks. Emma Louise Parry was in fine voice in the enviable role of Maid Marian and proved to be a fine foil for Robin. I must at this point mention ten year old Erin Jones, Ruthin Youth Theatre, who stepped into the role of Marian’s Maid at last minute and gave a performance well beyond her years – well done! Mike Van Der Eijk seems to revel in the portrayal of the ‘baddie’ and this year was no exception. He took the role of Sheriff of Nottingham with aplomb and was supported by his sidekick, Guy, played by James Eccleston, who fully justified his selection.

Chorus and minor roles consisted of Robin Hood’s Merry Men and were well rehearsed. There was an impressive opening to both acts and a well choregraphed Seize the Day, closing Act 1. Other highlights included March to the Beat, and The Battle. The final scene saw Gertie leading The Merry Men (Sisterhood of Eternal Glory) attired in beautiful sequin habits, in I am What I am, and Shut Up and Dance With Me.

Looking through the programme, I was amazed how many people were involved in this production, and I have it on good authority that 120 costumes were made for this pantomime. Hard work from the dedicated Crew reaped rewards. Well done everyone involved in whatever capacity, and thank you, once again for your, kind invitation and hospitality. I look forward to your next production.