Robin Hood: The Oxford Playhouse Pantomime
Updated: Apr 23
Review: The Oxford Playhouse's panto, written and directed by Steve Marmion. From 27 Nov - 9 Jan 2022. Socially distanced performances available. Tickets from £15. Book here.
[Disclosure: Our young reviewer received free tickets for the purposes of this review, as well as a goody bag and free non-alcoholic drinks and biscuits at the press table during interval.]
Robin Hood is the Oxford Playhouse’s first panto since the pandemic began and it just was so much fun!
The Oxford Playhouse takes the classic Robin Hood tale and turns it into classic panto. It started like a huge party – covering the audience in glitter, colourful paper and snow – it pretty much carried on that way for the rest of the show!
The live band was fantastic – it was such a treat to hear really loud, live music again. The cast looked like they were having super fun, there were disco lights, sweets thrown into the audience, lots of very silly jokes and instead of a Widow Twanky, there was Friar Tuck, played brilliantly by Nigel Collins – who started dressing like a woman for no real reason and never stopped. He had some really fabulous wigs!
The original tale has violence but not in the Playhouse’s version! Robin Hood and his merry band are tickling experts – they tickled the Sheriff’s men into dropping the money.
The Sheriff (boo hiss), played by Gareth David-Lloyd, was so very bad but wanted to be as popular as Robin (cheer). So the Sheriff held a dance-off to see who’s best. Of course, the Sheriff cheated and won – but somehow became good in the end and everyone lived happily ever after.
People go to panto because they want to have a great time, and the Oxford Playhouse’s panto really delivered. It was fantastic to be in a theatre with so many other people, having such a brilliant time. The theatre was filled with squeals of excitement for the whole show – it made me wonder – perhaps the really young children in the audience might never have been in such a big crowd in their lives!
There’s lots of opportunities to dance, sing, boo, hiss, cheer and shout, “it’s behind you”. There are even shout-outs by Friar Tuck to audience members having special days – like birthdays.
There were 14 actors on stage most of the time – and even though this is a smaller cast than usual for an Oxford Playhouse panto – because we’ve all been so deprived - it felt huge!
The Oxford Playhouse’s Robin Hood is very silly and pure fun – it’s exactly what I needed.
Young reviewer, Charlotte Trichard, has been going to the theatre regularly since she was a baby and is so happy to be going back to the theatre in real life. Charlotte loves fencing and she plays the piano.
Safe guarding procedures were in place throughout the review process including a chaperone during the show.