Robin Hood and His Merry Men (though mostly Women)

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Joss practicing the tight rope walk

WELL!! That went fast! 

I managed to get just one rehearsal post in about Robin Hood!

Its been an utter whirlwind but sadly Robin Hood came to a close on Sunday. Not wanting to sound all luvvy but… what a joyous cast and crew to work with. Everyone worked so hard and so consistently to mold and develop a great show.  I have suffered some thoroughly crap pantomimes in the past as an audience member. I shiver at two particularly appalling productions of Snow White and Peter Pan. The performers (especially the celebrities) could not have been more pedestrian and bored in them.. so when I signed up to do Robin Hood last summer it was with a large amount of hope that it will be a good cast. And by dame tucks knickers they were.

Pantomime comes with a certain set of expectations, dances, slap stick routine, songs, song sheet, skeleton dance, and the active involvement of the audience. All lashed together with a story. The very active nature of the audience, most especially the kids, means that if you get a lazy sloppy show or cast, the whole thing flumps like a badly cooked meringue.

But the cast of Robin Hood worked so hard on every one of the 78 performances to try and win over even the toughest crowds. it was great to see my fellow cast mates developing their characters and layering one terrible cracker joke with another.  Basically I had a ball onstage… just not the cinderella kind… even if I am partial to her awesome glass pumps.

to sum up the cast and crew were a right good bunch, who worked hard but also had a bloody good laugh.. I include our two teams of young cast in this as well as they were just awesome and hilarious.

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as you can see here we were taking the extra rehearsal time extremely seriously

I want to give a special shout out to the fantastic Anna Wheatley. Who, without, I would have gone insane. She played will scarlet. and together we were the comedy duo…. and as one reviewer said – the glue that held it all together. We were onstage all the time and had so many disciplines to try and handle from dancing, singing, slapstick, quite a bit of puppetry, magic, illusions, voices, fighting, and a lot of audience participation including the song sheet. This is all aside from playing our actual characters. I was so lucky to have found a fellow kindred spirit whose as idiotic as I am. Everyday we could improvise and play with the audience and we could totally trust each other. We also never left each others side and had to go to every extra rehearsal, every dance call, every warm up, etc etc… so its a good job we didn’t want to throttle/murder/poison/run over/ stab/ skin/ boil/ throw into the band pitt each other. So big kudos to the Wheatley.

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view from the wings during the technical.

We received many a good review which is always nice but not important…. In fact we didn’t get a bad one! most of which have now vanished from the Interwebs (ill put some review bits in the review section of my webpage). More importantly it was nice to get kids running up to us when out and about in oxford saying how much they loved the show. That means more than anything.

So, inwards and sidewards… I had a great time on Robin Hood, even if there were a few challenges along the way. I shall miss my new chums at the oxford playhouse and I count myself lucky to have been given the opportunity to work there. Good luck to the playhouse for the coming year and a big hug, bum squeeze and good luck to my fellow cast who I hope have a very successful year!

over and out,

Chris x

ps –  i have put a few production photos up on my galleries page.

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