You'll be rocking with Robin and Babes
It has a large cast, colourful costumes and sets, lots of laughter, brilliant singing and a tight six-piece band. It can only be the annual Spittal Variety (SVG) pantomime at The Maltings, and this year it was Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood.
With lots of familiar faces and some new young shining stars, it is a great way to beat the winter blues.
It’s the familiar story of how the poor people of Nottingham, who are heavily taxed by the evil Sheriff (Michael McLean), are saved by our hero Robin Hood, played superbly by Geraldine Skelly.
Robin is helped along the way by his merry band, including Will Scarlet (Jennifer Greenwood), Friar Tuck (Murray McKay) and the brilliant, if not too bright, Little John, played outrageously by Sharon Young. Don’t miss any of Sharon’s one-liners, they are hilarious.
King Richard (Keith Fraser) leaves gold, along with his niece and nephew Sam and Ella, in the care of the Sheriff whilst he goes off on his crusades. The Sheriff plans to kill the Babes, played confidently on different performances by Morgan Flannigan and Evie Ryan and Matthew McIver Scott and Kate Hardwood, so that he can get his hands on the King’s treasure.
He is assisted by his two henchmen, Snivel and Grovel, played with a crazy sense of fun by the outlandishly looking Fiona Dunn and Denise Clarke.
The arrival of the Sheriff’s old nanny, Nurse Nellie Nickerlastick, helps to save the day as she takes over the education and safety of the Babes. Nurse Nellie is played by John Dougal, making his return as Dame after a short absence.
Robin and his merry band also come to the rescue of the Babes and the Sheriff’s ward, Maid Marion, played by Hannah Bass. Marion also becomes Robin’s love interest as she helps the outlaws to outwit the Sheriff.
After over-enthusiastic scenes in the schoolroom and an even more hilarious scene in the bedroom (watch out for Morgan’s slippers ) Robin and his merry band, helped by Maid Marion and Nurse Nellie, save the day. King Richard returns, the Babes are safe, the Sheriff gets his just desserts and Robin and Marion plan to marry.
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There is some brilliant choreography by Nancy Steele in excellent colourful scenes, with the chorus treating us to some fine singing and a beautiful duet from Robin and Marion. We get a birthday party, ghosts, slapstick, a tap dance, a great band, slick scene changes by Kevin Knox and his gang, and a surprise cameo from the choreographer.
Congratulations to producers John Mabon and Susan Whyte.
With some amazing costumes in the finale, what else could you want to brighten up a dark January night? You certainly will be Rocking Around With The Babes.
Cast: The Bard – Aimee Southwood; Sir Guy of Gisbourne – Jonathan Scott; Minstrel – Georgia Young; Chorus – Gemma Burn, Lesley Burn, Susan Whyte, Rebecca Lowe, Nicola Hastie, Emma-Jane Hume, Hazel Bettison, Ellen Hume, Diane Renner, Simon Landels, Alan Fairbairn; Juniors – Thea Scott, Rebecca Mavin, Mya Patterson Poppy Flannigan, Chloe Cowan, Isla Deans, Amber Eden, Lily Cornish, Erin Hook, Chloe Wakenshaw, Maia Flannigan, Emily Robertson, Corey Learmonth, Dylan Porteous.
Robin Hood is at The Maltings until Sunday.