Robin Hood - The Truth Behind the Green Tights (1985)
Directed by John Hartnett
The action takes place in Nottingham once upon a time.
The play concerns the exploits of Albert Ross, described by his wife as a 'weak-kneed, yellow-bellied, chicken-livered little coward, who attempts to play both sides against each other in the struggle betweeen the forces of GOOD represented by Robin Hood and his Merry Men and of EVIL in the persons of the Sherriff of Nottingham and the lecherous Guy of Gisbourne.
- Albert Ross - Mike Mattey
- Mrs Ross - Ann Richards
- Maid Marion - Sharon Pidgeon
- Robin Hood - Quinton Cobby
- Little John - Alan Faulkner
- Will Scargill - Matthew Lyne
- Sheriff of Nottingham - Dennis Packham
- Guy of Gisbourne - Malcolm Saunders
- Tree/Town Crier/Maid - Sue Thompson
- Dicken Barleycorn/Mouth - Bernard Witt
- Everybody Else - Martin Leech
- Stage Manager - Sharon Phipp
- Assistant Stage Mangers - John Kidd, June McAuliffe, Jack Fitzgerald & Carol Wheeler
- Lighting - Dillon
- Sound - Peter Mielniczek
- Set Construction - David Lamkin, Jack Fitzgerald & Brian Fretwell
- Wardrobe - Ann Mattey
At the Bell Theatre, Norwood High St, this week, SLTC are presenting an unusual show.
Written by David Neilson and directed by John Hartnett, it is called "Robin Hood: The Truth Behind the Green Tights".
Such a title, straining after cleverness and suggesting a pantomime, might well contravene the Trades Descriptions act, for the show is not really a pantomime at all, and signally fails to reveal much truth about anything.
It is nevertheless a bright and bold show, at least until well into the reaches of the second half, when it begins to lose its way. It goes on that little bit too long, and mixes seriousness with knockabout in a not altogether convincing way.
There are certainly elements of panto...the friendly oak tree winningly played by Sue Thompson with style and panache.
........in Quinton Coby we have a Robin Hood with a nice line in tongue-in-cheek bravado. He is robustly assisted by Matthew Lyne .... who offers a wickedly amusing parody...(of Arthur Scargill)
Alan Faulkner is a bluff and blustering Little John ... Marin Leech ...being rather more gay then merry and by no means the worse for that. His other roles include a dumb messenger who does a marvellously funny mime in the style of a certain TV game show.
One might describe the show as a skit on do-gooders .. and Sharon Pidgeon's Lady Bountiful of a Maid Marion is a perfect example. But the heart and soul of the proceedings is the work of Mike Mattey, as the cowardly serf .. who turns hero at last, and his shrewish wife, who is played with tremendous spirit by Ann Richards.
The side of villainy is represented in blood-curdling fashion by Dennis Packham as the sheriff and Malcolm Saunders .. as Guy of Gisbourne. Bernard Witt is the cringing time-server who embodies law and order.
Donald Madgwick reprinted in SCENE from The Croydon Advertiser, by permission of the editor.
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