Following on from last year’s hugely successful award winning production, Arabian Nights, The Library Theatre Company returns to the Lowry for the festive season with their very own swashbuckling version of much loved classic, Robin Hood.
We meet best friends Robert and Maddie, two young innocents who are sadly forced to go their separate ways due to the betrothing of the beautiful Maddie (Marian of York), to the vulgar and barbaric High Sheriff of Nottingham, Walter Fitzwarren. Luckily years later, fate brings them back together again and so ensues a riotous tale of villainy, deception, bravery and courage. The story stays true to the well-known legendary tale with added twists and turns along the way to make for an all-round family friendly treat.
The small cast are tremendously hardworking and passionate, they tell the tale exceptionally well, this enchanting, all action production is not to be missed.
Children’s theatre specialist Charles Way’s script is clever and entertaining, offering up laughs a plenty for the younger members of the audience with a sprinkling of subtle more adult humour for the big kids amongst us. Paired with excellent direction and design from Amy Leach and Hayley Grindle, (the same team who triumphed with Arabian Nights), Wanted! Robin Hood is set to be an absolute Christmas cracker (pardon the pun). The set is impressive and imposing, offering the energetic cast the opportunity to swing, jump, prowl, sneak and surprise their way through scene after scene. They make great use of not only the levels created by the set but also the theatre itself, appearing and reappearing at various points and entrances in the stalls, keeping the story flowing and the audience absorbed. Renny Krupinski’s fight choreography is excellent, exhausting and exciting. It’s clear that some serious rehearsal time has been spent perfecting each impressively energetic dual.
Robin played by Ciaran Kellgren is strong, cheeky and likeable, with a little Scouse swagger thrown in for good measure. His band of Merry Men are lovable, witty and at times a little bit daft, occasionally offering a well-timed hint of panto humour they work together brilliantly and had me convinced that they truly are the best of friends and would do pretty much anything for each other. Umar Malik, a Manchester Theatre School graduate makes his professional stage debut as the super tall Little John, with Dan Parr playing nice but dim Much and Oliver Llewellyn-Jenkins completing the band of brother as the feisty Will Scarlett, all overseen by the protective and loyal Friar Tuck (Peter Landi).
Emilio Doorgasingh succeeds in coming across as a bit of a monster and certainly not someone you’d want to be betrothed too, whilst Library Theatre Company regular Christopher Wright plays Sir Eustace perfectly, snooty, sneering and smarmy. Amelia Donkor (Maid Marian) handles the boisterous cast well and it’s no surprise to see her armed with her own bow and arrow by the end of the show.
The small cast are tremendously hardworking and passionate, they tell the tale exceptionally well, this enchanting, all action production is not to be missed. Showing at The Lowry until 11th January with morning, afternoon and evening performances available you’d be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable family favourite.