National Operatic & Dramatic Association
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Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood


19th January 2018


Spittal Variety Group


The Maltings, Berwick

Type of Production



John Mabon

Musical Director

Aubrey Sanderson


Nancy Steele


Author: Kathryn Curry

Once again this society delighted their audience in every aspect. Spittal Variety Group excelled in giving their audience an excellent evening of traditional pantomime packed with entertainment and laughter. There was the usual huge buzz of anticipation before the curtain even went up. Suffice to say this audience loves this kind of entertainment and were clearly here to thoroughly enjoy themselves and they certainly did. As usual under the magic baton of Aubrey Sanderson leading his merry band we were treated to a combo of very talented musicians keeping the cast on their toes with their lively renditions. As ever an excellent choice of musical numbers soon had the audience tapping their feet and fully engaged.

Splendidly costumed, good sets, and great props all added to the spectacle and it is always so obvious the attention to detail in all areas from crew, wardrobe, make-up and props adds that extra dimension to this societies productions. Those back stage and core of the society must be congratulated for their commitment and dedication to supporting those on stage and that includes front of house too. The unsung heroes of any production!

Comedy is always a strong feature of any of this societies productions and this year was no exception. John Dougal as ‘Nurse Nellie Knickerlastic’ as usual caused great hilarity on stage; he is a master of his craft. He was perfect support for both sets of ‘Babes’ respectively played by  ‘Evie Ryan and Morgan Flannigan,  and  ‘Kate Harwood and Matthew McIver Scott’ they were charming, word perfect, spoke clearly and acted well. Sharon Knox playing ‘Little John’ was superb; adding to the high comedy jinks and providing plenty of laughter. Comedy duo ‘Grovel and Snivel’ played by Fiona Dunn and Denise Clarke were hilarious, worked so well together in their outrageous costumes and wigs and were extremely slick and funny.

‘Will Scarlet’ played by Jennifer Greenwood was an excellent support to Robin Hood and looked amazing in the wonderful costume she had. ‘Friar Tuck’ played by Murray McKay was a real treat; he was funny and eccentric in his delivery and showed he could easily deliver his lines competently much to the amusement of the audience.  ‘Sheriff of Nottingham’ played by Michael Mclean earned his fair share of hisses and boos and certainly found his niche playing the villain. 

Geraldine Skelly and Hannah Bass respectively ‘Robin Hood’ and ‘Maid Marian’ complemented each other perfectly and gave sound performances their highlight being their duet. Aimee Southwood as ‘The Bard’ and Keith Fraser as ‘King Richard were super in supporting the main principals. Chorus and children made a huge contribution to this show, singing well and moving competently in their routines which were slick and well choreographed.The children are to be complimented in their performances as all were fully engaged and showed obvious enjoyment in performing. I love the way this society pays attention to detail, one of my pet hates is ‘shoes’ and in every show I have seen with this group all shoes are just spot on. So well done!  Lovely to see.

Congratulations to everyone for magnificent evening of entertainment, fun and laughter. Keep up the good work and cannot wait to see ‘The Snow Queen’ next year.