What a rootin’, tootin’ hoot of a Robin Hood!

Robin The Hood – A Wild West Panto. Alnwick Theatre Club. At Alnwick Playhouse. Tonight until Saturday, January 22. 7.30pm. Tickets £8 adults, conc £7, child/student £6.

‘WHAT if Robin Hood was a cowboy?’

That was the question asked by script-writer Daniel Watkins, before concluding it would make for a really good pantomime.

Was he right? Oh yes he was!

Because Robin The Hood was a well-written, fun-filled, family show, which was genuinely entertaining and truly funny.

Penned by Watkins, this was Alnwick Theatre Club’s third completely original production under the Eyelav Forsters trademark, which brought us Dracula: The Pantomime and I, Geordius.

And this rootin’, tootin Wild West adventure completed a fine hat-trick.

It told the tale of Robin the Hood (Karen McCarthy) and his gang, who take from the rich and give to the poor, but it is up to them to save the day in the lawless prairie town of Canny-On after the evil Sheriff Rick Mann (Robin Lewsey) steals Robin’s true love.

It was the classic Robin Hood tale undergoing a Wild West makeover.

And it worked. And as promised, it was a good, old traditional panto.

There were jokes galore, from slapstick comedy to classic one-liners, while the banter came thick and fast.

Even some locally-themed gags were thrown in for good measure.

There was custard pie throwing.

There was audience participation, from they’re behind yous to oh no they wonts.

There was singing. There was dancing.

And of course, there was a dame.

Jimmy Dodds as the ... er ... attractive M’Dame Sally Bonny. As usual, Dodds served up a performance to remember, packed with gags, improvisation ... and an unforgettable Lady Gaga routine.

The belly-laughs continued with Nick Lewis and Gary Brown, who worked well together as Yee Haw and How Yee.

Lewsey was delightfully evil as the Sheriff, stepping into the role of panto villain with ease, while there were strong performances from McCarthy, Peter Biggers (General Custard) and Helen Gee (Prairie Mary).

It was great to see some of the Club’s youth members – Hannah Firth, Lewis Gattens and Andrew Kane – progress to take principle roles, while the talented Alnwick Academy of Dance served up a well-polished Wild West-themed routine.

All in all, this was a thigh-slapping success of a show.

And with Robin The Hood running until Saturday, there is still a chance to see it, but tickets are selling out fast, so get in quick.

Because it would be yee–ha-rd luck to miss it.

CAST: Don Beattie, Helen Gee, Peter Biggers, Carol Hawkins, Lewis Gattens, Hannah Firth, Karen McCarthy, Jimmy Dodds, Nick Lewis, Gary Brown, Richard Sayer, Lisa Gladstone, John Firth, Clair Birbeck, Susan Smith, Philippa Mawer, Andrew Kane, Robin Lewsey, Peter Lewis, Charlotte Anstee, Fleur Anstee, Jill Clark, Jade Curran, Mary Frater, Ben Hardy, Holly Hardy, Linzi Hardy, Rowan Hart, Ann Lewis, Andrew Nichol, Fiona Sayer, Rebekah Sayer, Moira Swain, Jeanette Watt, Hilary Waugh, Lynsey Yeadon.

ACADEMY OF DANCE: Tyler Angus, Amy Barrett, Livy Belk, Richard Biggers, Emily Breeze, Hannah Breeze, Caitlin Brown, Emily Brunton, Kerrie Charlton, Jessica Conroy, Cora Drummond, Ryan Duncan, Olivia Hodgson, Lily Horgan, Honey Hughes, Brenna Jamieson, Courteney Latto, Rachael Latto, Shaun Latto, Jessica McKenzie, Anabel Porter, Charlotte Robertson, Ciarra Showler, Emily Stenton, Bronwen Stout, Kristin Thompson.