Pantomime Special: Review: Robin Hood in Greenwich

By Beth Allcock on December 18, 2012 5:16 PM |

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STAGE
Robin Hood Pantomime
Greenwich Theatre
★★★★★

IN A NUTSHELL
Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men delight the crowds in Greenwich.

REVIEW

Its quirky routine has quickly made it a dance floor favourite in clubs, parties and get-togethers across the country.

But prepare to experience Gangnam Style as you've never seen it before, as Greenwich's hilarious pantomime dame is introduced to the crowds with a rendition of the infamous moves alongside Friar Tuck (Paul Critoph).

With a slow gallop onto the stage courtesy of a "spare horse" from the Olympics, and adorned in a striking NHS apron uniform, you get the feeling that Nurse Germoline (Andrew Pollard) is going to be just one of the many stars of the show.

And, appropriately, the tune adds another bucketful of cheese on top of the already very guilty pleasure of a pantomime.

By this point in proceedings, we've already encountered the plucky Robin Hood (Michael Harris), his band of merry men and childhood sweetheart Maid Marian (Arabella Rodrigo).

Not to mention the Sheriff of Nottingham (Anthony Spargo), to a chorus of pantomime boos, and his feisty Spanish housekeeper Consuela (Caroline Koutsoudes) who is besotted with her master.

The green-tighted hero is set to wage a war on the Sheriff, whose taxmen are adamant on stealing from the poor, to right wrongs and save Maid Marion.

The fair maid, along with her "naughty, naughty nursey" have been invited to stay with the Sheriff and while he sets his sights on the soon-to-be-rich lady, she desires another chance at love with Robin.

Expect a tale bursting with twists, turns and excitement and smattered with non-stop humour and song.

Yes, there are the typical ingredients you'd expect from any pantomime - an adorable hero, a heart-warming love story, a despicable villain and plentiful audience interaction, but writer and dame Andrew Pollard has developed the plot into so much more.

The evil Sheriff has an accomplice, Vulcan the vulture, showcasing ventriloquist talents while enchanting magic, courtesy of Simply Told and enacted by Consuela, provides another dimension.

References to the Olympics and the Druids of Deptford's Disco Show add humour for the adults, while the tunes tying the performance together will have young and old tapping their feet. During the sparkling production, a smile was never far from my face.

Whether it be Nursey's hilarious banter with the audience, Robin's pal, Alan (Garry Ellis), and his continual efforts to perform or the lively chemistry between Robin and Maid Marion, the intertwining tales kept me thoroughly entertained.

Leaving the Crooms Hill venue, with a smell of mulled wine still lingering in the air, I felt thoroughly festive.

If you desire a heart-warming and humorous way to kick off your Christmas, you won't get much better than this.

Beth Allcock

Until Jan 6. Tickets from £16.

Go to greenwichtheatre.org.uk or call

020 8858 7755.