Times are hard for the poor people of Nottingham, which means things have never been better for the wicked Sheriff and his tax collectors. But, never fear, everything’s bound to turn out fine as soon as Robin Hood comes to the rescue.
Except what happens when he doesn’t?
This is the question hanging in the air this summer at the York Theatre Royal, and being big fans of everything theatrical, my mini-Mumblers were keen to find out the answer.
Having been recently refurbished to a high standard it feels like a treat to go to the Theatre Royal. The auditorium is plush and comfortable, and a nice size so you’re never too far away from the action. The sound quality is also great, and we appreciated this right from the outset of this musical production. There was rapping from Maid Marian and calypso beats from Friar Tuck – it was definitely a funkier score than we were expecting and the kids loved it.
The characters were vibrant and performed the tale brilliantly with the perfect amount of pantomime humour creeping in – especially from the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham! We were especially impressed with the sassy character of Maid Marian, there was just the right balance of ‘girl power’ attitude to support the role reversal of the typical hero idea.
The recommended age for this show is 5 years and above. I initially thought this was because of it’s length – being 2 1/2 hours in total. My kids are 7 & 4 years 11 months(!) and they commented on how quickly they thought the show had ended because they were so enthralled, so no issues there.
However, just a word of warning if your child may be squeamish….. In the second half there is a rather perilous scene where the Sheriff rips his heart out of his chest to feed to the forest serpent, which goes on to eat his nephew. I wasn’t quite expecting this, and it was a moment of stark contrast to an otherwise jovial performance. My youngest was actually ok with the character being eaten, but the very realistic looking heart was a step too far!
Overall, we really enjoyed Robin Hood – The Arrow of Destiny, and I would recommend it to any theatre loving kids. However, you might want to use your parental discretion and consider leaving any younger siblings at home for this one.
The show is running from now until September 2nd. If you fancy making a day trip of it, you can check out our sister site York Mumbler to find out the best places to visit while you’re there.
York Theatre Royal kindly gave us 2 free tickets, drinks and a programme in exchange for an honest review.
Production images courtesy of Anthony Robling.