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REVIEW: Robin Hood - Rubbin' Wood at Newcastle Boulevard

Robin Hood - Rubbin' Wood

Newcastle Boulevard

Until Sunday 28 January 2024

It is back for the seventh time. The original Newcastle adult panto has landed. Robin Hood was a laugh. An adult panto that entertains. A cast that love to have a laugh with the audience. A great script too. What's not to like?

Definitely broad minded adults only. Whilst this show features a cast made up of many local favourite panto stars, this is a show in which the actors talk like adults. Very sweary adults. 

The show's host is, once again, is Miss Rory - fresh from a successful season at the Sunderland Empire panto. As the naughtiest fairy around, Rory likes to have fun during the frozen scenes with the rest of the cast. Rory doesn't break the fourth wall as much as smash it down. 

In the role of the comic, as well the show's writer and director, is Tom Whalley. Responsible for the fun script and entertaining direction, Tom has created a very funny show. His character is in sharp contrast to the family friendly front that he has when sharing the Sunderland stage with Miss Rory.  He encourages the audience to greet his stage arrivals with a sweary greeting. Dan Mawston's Dame Patsy plays the mother and Hazel Pude is the love interest Maid Marion.

The panto needs a hero, and Jacob Anderton is the man in tights with an aim to die for. With his merry men he tries to defeat the evil Sherriff. Yet again the Sherriff is performed by Stephen Sullivan, fresh from panto in Bolton, he uses his experience to make a likeable baddie to boo at. Here is the thing, the audience may be all adults but adult panto brings out the enthusiastic 7 year old in each member of the audience. 

The cast, including the dancers, work really well together. It is a tight ensemble who clearly know each other well. The  on stage chemistry is not something that can be manufactured.

This panto has become something of a birthday weekend tradition for us, picking up the cheap £10 tickets to stand in the pit and try to avoid the ire of Miss Rory. Thus it was a nice surprise to get a mention for the North East Theatre Guide from the pulpit. This guide may be a labour of love but the chance to enjoy shows like Robin Hood makes it all worth while.

We love this show. Simple as that. As fans of panto we love a show that entertains as much as this one. Yes, it is crude and vulgar but there is a place for that. Our happy band left with smiles on our faces and we look forward to next year's offering.

Review & photos: Stephen Oliver

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