Young thespians shine in show

Coquetdale Amateur Dramatics Society present Robin Hood. Picture by Duncan Elson.
Coquetdale Amateur Dramatics Society present Robin Hood. Picture by Duncan Elson.

Review of Robin Hood by Coquetdale Amateur Dramatics Society at Rothbury’s Jubilee Hall, by Steph Corbett.

If you need a bit of cheering up as this winter seemingly forever goes on, then look no further than Rothbury’s Jubilee Hall this week, where the Coquetdale Amateur Dramatics Society will provide the perfect antidote with its entertaining production of Robin Hood.

The script, written and directed superbly by local John Mawer, is brilliantly crafted with plenty of great gags, and it is full of all the best elements of a pantomime – songs, laughter, audience participation, bright costumes and beautiful sets.

It is a sparkling show, which entertained young and old alike.

The cast play their parts with ease and confidence, and take the audience with them on a comedic mission of love and adventure through Sherwood Forest in 1194.

This feat is particularly impressive when you count up the local youngsters who have taken to the stage this year and seem to relish in every ‘Boo, Hiss and He’s Behind You’ moment as much as the audience. The song Dominick the Donkey is led by these talented young thespians.

Amy Cowan and Kirsty Famelton play the convincing and energetic Robin Hood and Maid Marion, who gel brilliantly together. Their duet All of Me is especially poignant, with flashbacks to their relationship as youths touching, yet amusing.

Marion is also leader of a feminist movement that wants ‘Looser Corsets’, ‘No More Side Saddles’ and ‘Basik Literassy’ for women.

Robin leads an unlikely band of heroes who steal from the greedy and give to the needy, and the audience instantly warms to the outlaws.

There is the deaf monk Friar Tuck played by Julie Ferguson, the Scarlet Woman Wilma Scarlet played by Pat Lewis, Knott Telling played by Logan Davison, who demonstrated true showmanship when he acted on despite being temporarily blinded by a cake-in-the-face gag, Too Much, the French lover, played hilariously by Jo Gardiner, and Little John, or the bloke in the dress/the unicorn outfit, played by the multi-talented John Mawer.

Little John’s enthusiasm, costumes and one-liners cause Merry Men mayhem throughout.

The chorus sings the story of the journey through the forest in familiar songs, which included a memorable rendition of Bat Out Of Hell.

If the success of a villain is measured by the number of boos and hisses, then the wicked, weasly Sheriff of Nottingham (Robert Famelton), was a hit.

He offers just the right dose of evil to cause fear – that is until he repeatedly produces woolly weapons and his teddy bear.

Joining this mummy’s boy baddy on stage is Prince John (Mike Jevons) and his cheeky side-kick Humphrey (Jake Splevings). This trio’s pathetic scheme to threaten the fledgling romance of the show’s protagonists is pure comedy.

Even more laughs are provided by the Drunk Mother (Sue Wood), who thought she was an alcoholic so gave up thinking, and the two windy witches, Joan Wilkinson as Bubble and Hazel Meyer as Squeak, who create potions with highly amusing recitals of their recipe, overflowing with clever puns to the Vegetable Gods.

Robin Hood is just what a panto should be.

Rothbury should be very proud of this year’s community production.

I recommend it to everyone, especially those in need of a laugh this weekend.

Robin Hood will be on stage in the Jubilee Hall until Saturday, at 7.30pm.

Tickets are available to buy from Tully’s of Rothbury.