Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood

Date 26th January 2022
Society Westovian Theatre Society
Venue Pier Pavilion South Sheilds
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Caroline Corkin
Musical Director Jen Stevens
Choreographer Lori Smedley
Producer Amy Harris
Written By Ben Crocker

Report

Author: Michelle Coulson

What an honour it was to be invited to attend the Westovian’s pantomime for the first time as Youth Coordinator and to also write the report on behalf of my colleague.

This panto had everything a traditional pantomime needs, bright, colourful scenery, lighting and costumes, lots of laughs and plenty of audience participation.

The whole theatre was turned into Sherwood forest with the pillars becoming trees and foliage everywhere which I’m sure took hours of preparation, it was worth it though, the effect was magical and especially during the finale when the fairy lights added a magical touch. “Wanted” posters for the outlaws also adorned the walls which were great fun.

Katie Stubbs as Robin Hood gave a commanding performance with super vocals, a good strong principal boy. As Maid Marian Erin Atack was delightful, confident and again gave superb vocal performances.  Robin’s gang of merry “men” provided perfect support, Lorna Bell as Friar Tuck was hilarious, Carol Cooke as Will Scarlet provided many straight faced comedy moments and Holly Chinneck as Little Joan was an excellent “Dandini” type supporting character and also showed she could enhance her performance with excellent singing skills. The story teller Alice-A- Dale was cleverly portrayed and beautifully sung by the musical director Jen Stevens, a lovely touch.

In the role of Dame Winnie Widebottom Declan Marshall did a super job, great comedy timing and good interaction with the audience.  The children in the show were very good, Rose Roberts and Luke Pearson as the Babes and Joe Cooke as the Rabbit provided the right amounts of cuteness mixed with sassiness in these roles and I’m sure Eva Holmes, James Pallister and Elliot Ball gave just as strong performances on their days.

As always a good panto needs strong baddies and this one was no exception, Mark Lamb as The Sheriff of Nottingham was excellent, just the right amounts of menace and vulnerability and Hannah Potter as “Boris” his hapless sidekick provided great support and good interaction with the audience.

The addition of the character “Jean” providing many topical jokes including a “Hi Jean” on her appearances, was great fun.

All of the ensemble scenes and musical numbers were well sung, performed and danced, with great energy, and the fight scenes were particularly impressive.

This was a most enjoyable production which was appreciated by the whole age range of the audience. Congratulations to the production team and company!