Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood

RICHARD PARR Princess Theatre, Hunstanton

RICHARD PARR

> Princess Theatre, Hunstanton

The Princess Theatre has always had a reputation for the quality of its seasonal pantomimes and this year this has been surpassed – oh yes it has.

Director Michael Garland, who also plays the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham, has created a show that reflects the rich tradition of pantomime combined with a welcome freshness.

All the usual elements were there that audiences have come to love – the Dame, a wonderful performance by Roger Dean, the love interest between the Principal Boy Robin Hood (Leanne Willetts) and Maid Marion (Nichola Jolley), good disco-style songs, slapstick and corny jokes in lively, fast moving show.

There were some notable performances including David Beck's Little John/King Richard, Neil Hurst's Simple Simon, Christian Mortimer's Egor and Lizzie Robins' Fairy of the Forest.

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All the action was set against some really striking and colourful sets, particularly Toyland, Nottingham Fair and the Depths of Sherwood forest and a stunning finale scene in Nottingham Castle.

The show smacked of Victorian theatre, which even included dressing up the proscenium arch and the scenes took on an almost magical look with clever use of lighting.

From the outset, Dean's Dame engaged with the audience and he made the best of some funny one-liners with a sprinkling of local references and corny jokes.

Judging from their response on Saturday's first evening performance the children and the adults loved this pre-Christmas treat.

t The pantomime continues (various time and prices) until January 4. Contact the box office on 01485 532252 for ticket availability.

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