Henley Standard Property
HOME

Date:

Order your copy Advertise with us! HENLEY PAGES
Delivering the news from Henley on Thames and South Oxfordshire for over 100 years
  News     Sport    Celebrity   What's On Regulars Community Info Henley Standard TV Lifestyle Property Jobs Classifieds Gallery Trade
                               Follow us    Follow us    Newsfeed Search the Henley Standard  
Robin’s gang could be a little less clever and more merry
Published 16/12/13



THE biggest and possibly only test for a pantomime is whether or not the kids get it. If they don’t the production team needs to go back to the drawing board and I’m afraid that’s what needs to happen with Robin Hood at the Oxford Playhouse.

The sad fact is that for all the energy and inventiveness in this retelling of the Robin Hood story, the younger members of the audience weren’t engaged and far more often than not had to be led to the trough by their parents shouting out the “Boos” and “Behind-Yous”.

Make no mistake, a lot of work and talent has gone into this show. The songs are excellent and frequent. They follow the modern trend of demanding professional musical performances from the cast and they deliver. It used to be that the music in a panto was an afterthought but it has become a strength in recent years, especially at Oxford where their Cinderella two years ago broke new ground in excellence.

It’s the rest of Robin Hood that’s the problem. There’s a cleverness and knowingness about it which is offputting. It includes unfunny and unthought-through political gags which are lost on the children and too elementary for the adults.

Sadly, the characterisations don’t always live up to the pantomime ideal: Guy of Gisbourne is supposed to be scary but doesn’t quite bring it off, the Sheriff of Nottingham should be evil incarnate but is played as a camp villain and no one is threatened.


On the upside, Will Scarlet and Little John are a treat as the panto-jesters, and Robin Hood and Maid Marian give fine singing and acting performances — Jos Vantyler’s Robin also performs some exciting circus tricks including a tightrope walk and a rope-flydown.

It’s still a good panto and better than most of the celebrity-led shows are likely to be. But Cinderella set the bar very high and this year they haven’t reached it.

Robin Hood is at the Oxford Playhouse until January 12. Box office: 01865 305305

Robin Hood

Oxford Playhouse

date

Mike Rowbottom

PUBLISHED 16/12/13



 
MOST POPULAR
39 and fit but nearly died from bowel cancer
HAODS does the Full Monty
Whitchurch Bridge toll to be reviewed
Romans arrive in Henley
Residents encouraged to recycle garden waste
Runners gear up for the London Marathon
Runners raise thousands completing Marathon
Residents fight to save tree from axe
 
 
LATEST LIFESTYLE HEADLINES
The importance of quality chiropractic care
Headline 52pt Lola foot Let the experts take care of your feet My very first tango in Henley
Relax into health and fitness
Make sure you are called to the barre!
Whiter than white!
It’s time for pilates
Spring into a healthier body...
Beauty therapist wins prizes
Learning squash is great for children
Stonor opens doors
Family fun at railway centre
Latest Video View more from   Henley Standard TV
ADVERTISE WITH US
LATEST NEWS HEADLINES
200 year-old tree removed
British greats to talk at Literary Festival
Henley suffers from litter louts
Giant Easter egg being raffled for charity
Runners raise thousands completing Marathon
Top Videos
 
Most Popular
 
 
 
 
Higgs Group
HIGGS GROUP
Tel: 01491 419400
www.higgsgroup.co.uk
HENLEY PAGES
Tel: 01491 419419
www.henleypages.com
HIGGS PRINTING & DESIGN
Tel: 01491 149429
www.higgsprinitng.co.uk
HIGGS OFFICE SUPPLIES
Tel: 01491 419499
www.higgsofficesupplies.co.uk
HENLEY LIFE MAGAZINE
Tel: 01491 419449
www.henleylife.co.uk
  HIGGS GROUP, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 1AD. Telephone (01491) 419400  
© Higgs & Co (Printing) Limited 2012  |  Registered in England number 1418717