This great performance venue, created by Griffins, saw their successful Adult pantomime give us a very amusing evening’s entertainment.

Using the same set as the standard pantomime, with different props and cast we were treated to a colourful production, not only costume-wise but also in language, and although there were a few jokes a little near the knuckle, it all worked really well.

The audience got involved and had a good time.

I must say that the band stood out, they performed a very lively overture, with James Driver and Paul Ramsey singing their hearts out, and then did various versions of Robin Hood throughout the performance, to cover for blackouts/ scene changes, which kept the action going and was most entertaining.  

The cast performed their numbers well, Josh Thompson showed some unexpected high notes(!) and he also played the guitar very well.  There were good harmonies in a couple of numbers too.

Costumes were appropriate and colourful – I particularly liked Prince John’s robes!

I felt that perhaps there was not as much scope for exciting lighting, but it was suitable for the piece.  Sound was a little suspect at times.

The choreography was well put together, Men in Tights was very good, but I always like Lynette Driver’s choreography, it is slightly quirky and she gets the feel of music well, which gives the cast something to get their teeth into.

The props were all very good – Lynda Fagan did her usual good job, and also found time to appear on stage as well.

I understand that at least three of the principals were late replacements, so all in all everyone did very well.

I liked the use of different wigs for Richard Alexander as the Dame, and the fact that he kept his facial hair created a very full-on character.  I liked the portrayal, and the ad libs to the audience, who seemed to need to visit the facilities during the performance more than usual – but Richard dealt with them well!!

The dance support for Maid Marian’s song was hilarious and well-performed, I really enjoyed it, whilst having a good laugh.

Josh Thompson created a good Will Scarlett, plenty of innuendo and excellent fun in the portrayal.

It was nice to see Adam Butcher as Little John, letting his hair down and really entering into the risqué world of adult panto – I liked what he did with the part, and he also showed he is a good singer and can move well – I loved the ‘ballet’, featuring Little John, the Sheriff and Lurch – it was very well done by all concerned.

Andy Sizmur was a nicely evil Sheriff of Nottingham – looking very dark in his costume and with some very apt one liners.  The scene where he was hit over the head by Lurch was well-directed.

Katy Elliott had a lovely part as Lurch – not too many lines as she was heard to say, but so much in her looks and acting – very well done.

Stacey Peck created a very jolly Friar Tuck, and managed a very difficult speech well, along with mostly retaining a slightly Midlands accent.

Prince John, the real villain of the piece was played with his usual aplomb by John O’Leary – he fixes the audience with a look that often says more than words – but he accomplished a good speech impediment throughout.  

I liked Kate Johnson as Robin Hood, she always plays that sort of role with proper principal boy energy, she lends a certain gravitas to the proceedings, whilst delivering some rather rude lines without flinching.

Kim Albone was a very cheeky Maid Marion – enjoyed her number from the tower, it was nicely sung, and the accompanying dance made it all more interesting and amusing.

The small but enthusiastic chorus of Jo Herd, Jen Flower, Debbie Cavanagh, Rosalind White and Lynda Fagan all got into the spirit of the production, and were able to deliver some telling lines – they all helped keep the playfulness and naughtiness going.

The unexpected arrival of King Richard played by Alistair Brown added some spice to the end of the pantomime.

The audience obviously really enjoyed themselves, and I came away having had some real belly laughs, and also enjoyed the audience participation.

My thanks again for Griffins hospitality – twice in a week, but both productions very well done in an exciting venue.


“ROBIN HOOD & the BABES” review date: 16th Jan 2015

Venue 360, LUTON

Written & Directed by: Richard Alexander & Josh Thompson

MD: James Driver

Choreographer: Lynette Driver

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