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Panto review: Queen’s Theatre’s Robin Hood full of silly antics and festive cheer

PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 December 2019

The cast of Queen's Theatre's Christmas pantomime Robin Hood. Picture: Mark Sepple

The cast of Queen's Theatre's Christmas pantomime Robin Hood. Picture: Mark Sepple

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With a heartwarming message about the importance of friendship and teamwork, Queen’s Theatre’s Robin Hood panto is full of Christmas cheer.

The cast of Queen's Theatre's Christmas pantomime Robin Hood. Picture: Mark SeppleThe cast of Queen's Theatre's Christmas pantomime Robin Hood. Picture: Mark Sepple

Having seen Queen's Theatre's Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime last year I was curious to see how this year's show would measure up.

Fortunately I wasn't disappointed as the Hornchurch theatre's rendition of Robin Hood had just the right amount of silly humour and catchy pop tunes.

Deep in the heart of his foreboding castle, the dastardly sheriff of Nottingham is taxing the poor to pile up his gold, while imprisoning brave maid Marian and her hilarious Nanny Fanny.

But the sheriff hasn't banked on the arrow slinging hero Robin emerging from Sherwood Forest to target the hand of Marion and outwit the villain's plans.

Phil Adele as Robin Hood in in Queen's Theatre's Christmas pantomime Robin Hood. Picture: Mark SepplePhil Adele as Robin Hood in in Queen's Theatre's Christmas pantomime Robin Hood. Picture: Mark Sepple

John Barr returned to the theatre for his role as the dame, this time taking on the cheeky character of Nanny Fanny.

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With some show stopping outfits and witty jokes, the nanny to the stars kept everyone entertained.

I particularly enjoyed the dame's comic love melody with Friar Tuck (Robert Took) and the evil Sheriff (Lawrence Cole).

Lawrence Cole and John Barr in in Queen's Theatre's Christmas pantomime Robin Hood. Picture: Mark SeppleLawrence Cole and John Barr in in Queen's Theatre's Christmas pantomime Robin Hood. Picture: Mark Sepple

One of the best aspects about this year's pantomime was to see how some of the supporting female characters (Ruth Brotherton and Jessica Brydges) and Robin Hood's love interest Maid Marian (Barbara Hockaday), took part in as much of the heroic action as Robin (Phil Adele).

The Queen's Theatre's adaptation of the story of the rebellious archerer showed the power of teamwork and inclusion in the face of evil.

The cast were supported by an incredibly talented junior chorus who had worked with director Douglas Rintoul, choreographer Sundeep Saini and musical director Tom Self on the production. It was really impressive to see how the young dancers elevated the songs and how well they performed with the professional dancers on stage.

The sounds of children screaming at the naughty, naughty Nanny Fanny and booing at the arrogant sheriff, were a testament to how much fun the audience was having.

Georgina Field and Lawrence Cole in Queen's Theatre's Christmas pantomime Robin Hood. Picture: Mark SeppleGeorgina Field and Lawrence Cole in Queen's Theatre's Christmas pantomime Robin Hood. Picture: Mark Sepple

Robin Hood is showing at the Queen's Theatre in Billet Lane until January 5, 2020.

Visit queens-theatre.co.uk or call 01708 443333 for tickets.

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