Robin Hood & Babes in the Wood

Date 4th December 2015
Society Idle & Thackley Theatre Group
Venue The Little Theatre, Idle, Bradford
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Emma Burton
Choreographer Emma Burton & Sara Tample


Author: Judith Smith

Idle and Thackley have a long and great history in the Bradford area and, like so many other Societies, are now literally fighting to keep their existence; but, with shows like tonight’s I don’t think they may fear too much.  Opening night, with a keen and talented cast, the house was practically full of Mums, Dads, Children and many of the older age group – just as a Pantomime should be.

In Act I the ITTG Kids, with help from the ‘grown ups’ did the Society proud, they sang very well, they smiled, their dancing was enthusiastic and in strict time with the backing tracks.  Costumes were effective and well fitting and, as always, props were good and the scenery was superbly painted and intricately designed in order to completely change the scene literally in seconds. Robin Hood & Maid Marion (Emma Burton & Sammy Graveson) gave the gravity and sense to the plot (very ably written by David Ayres).  The comedy touch was beautifully and simply added by Caroline & Alan a Dale (Sara Temple & Richard Fisher) and the excellent bumbling Mutch (Bob Cochrane).  This left the slapstick and pure comedy to Nick Nak & Paddy Wak (Ben Whitney & David Ayres) who must have been exhausted at the end of the evening, and the beautiful ‘Dame’ Nurse Merryweather (Liam Hunter).

Act II, probably because of some overzealous barracking by some of the audience, and also frankly, almost hysterical laughing and ‘joining in’ by some of the children, led most of the Principals to over react, try and adlib replies to this and consequently, to forget their lines, despite various efforts to get back on track and at one with the plot, this carried on rather too long and, after at first being funny to the audience, degenerated and eventually slightly spoiled the performance.  The part of Jack (one of the Babes in the Wood) was delightfully played by Luke Ayres and the smaller parts by the Orange team.  I must mention however the very small part of Siri, the interpreter for Mutch, who deliberately made the translations of his olde English speech up as she went along, much to the benefit of Nurse Merryweather, and left the stage to resounding applause – very well done Isabelle Ayres.

As the show goes on, so audiences will differ, but I do hope that the majority at least will enjoy the performances as much as tonight’s did.