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‘A playwright with a penchant for panto’ - Robin Hood at New Frost Hall in Foulsham review

PUBLISHED: 13:42 02 February 2019

Robin Hood panto in Foulsham. Photo: Courtesy of Liz Beard

Robin Hood panto in Foulsham. Photo: Courtesy of Liz Beard

Courtesy of Liz Beard

If Robin Hood were stalking his way around this county, he would certainly be found hiding out in Foxley Wood... or so director Pippa Beard, of C.A.T.S Theatre Group, would have you believe.

Robin Hood panto in Foulsham. Photo: Courtesy of Liz BeardRobin Hood panto in Foulsham. Photo: Courtesy of Liz Beard

This year’s Foulsham pantomime plucks the old thief from his Nottinghamshire roots and plants his story firmly in Norfolk soil.

The hated villain of the tale becomes the Sheriff of Fakenham, and Maid Marion’s family crest is as green and yellow as the Norwich City strip.

Some might think that pantomime season was now over, but in New Frost Hall the boos and hisses ring out as joyful as if it were December 1st.

The original script by Beryl Thomas was a hit when it premiered with C.A.T.S in 2012. Thomas is an experienced playwright, who has penned many a play since the group was formed in 2003. But she does have a particular penchant for panto.

Robin Hood panto in Foulsham. Photo: Courtesy of Liz BeardRobin Hood panto in Foulsham. Photo: Courtesy of Liz Beard

And her zest for the genre is well repaid in the fun the actors have on stage. All twenty nine of them bubble with enthusiasm as they get stuck into the slapstick and songs.

Tony Christie’s Amarillo gets a make-over and turns into ‘Is this the way to Foulsham Village?’ other old favourites fit the action to perfection without adornment. Maid Marion’s rebellious streak finds expression in Rachel Platten’s Fight Song, and Ed Sheeran’s Perfect is the big romantic number of the night. Lily Munro-Oakley (Maid Marion) has a tingle-making singing voice.

Artful back-drops by Lisa Wright and Abi Craig set the action beautifully in wood, street, or castle. They transform the village hall into a real theatre.

And with experienced adult performers working alongside eight and nine-year-olds, the event feels like a proper family affair. A community coming together to warm up the chilliest of winter months.

Robin Hood panto in Foulsham. Photo: Courtesy of Liz BeardRobin Hood panto in Foulsham. Photo: Courtesy of Liz Beard

The show continues Saturday, February 2. You can but tickets here.

Robin Hood panto in Foulsham. Photo: Courtesy of Liz BeardRobin Hood panto in Foulsham. Photo: Courtesy of Liz Beard

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