HASLAND: Theatre company’s sparkling return to panto after 12 years

From the left. Andrrew Davie (playing Nanny Nora the Dame), Rob Dean (The Sheriff of Nottingham), Lucy Telfer (Maid Marian), Roseanna Sanderson (Robin Hood) and Rachel Schofield (The Soothsayer), left to right.

From the left. Andrrew Davie (playing Nanny Nora the Dame), Rob Dean (The Sheriff of Nottingham), Lucy Telfer (Maid Marian), Roseanna Sanderson (Robin Hood) and Rachel Schofield (The Soothsayer), left to right.

0
Have your say

The carols are sung, the turkey eaten, the decorations taken down – but it’s still panto

The carols are sung, the turkey eaten, the decorations taken down – but it’s still panto

season, boys and girls!

Hasland Theatre Company’s first for 12 years is in full swing at their Storforth Lane

Playhouse. All this week Robin Hood and his band of merry men, women and hoodies,

innit, (it is 2013 after all – there are jokes about council cutbacks too) are stealing laughs and rescuing people from boring nights in.

You have to listen carefully for the double entendres, but the local jokes come over loud and clear. There are plenty of slapstick antics too, from Nickit and Scarper (Neil Beards and Heather Davies), the East Midlands’ most incompetent villains.

They’re all clearly enjoying themselves, from the wonderfully wicked Sheriff (Rob Dean right down to the diminutive dancers, who play villagers, schoolchildren, cheerleaders, even insects in one memorable number.

There’s a soothsayer with a bad signal on her Freeview crystal ball (Rachel Schofield); an enchantress who speaks in rhyme (Becky Parry); Wilhelmina Scarlet and Alana Dale in Robin’s band (Val Davies and Ria Westhead) as well as the most conventional Little John and Friar Tuck (Tom Bannister and John Hopkinson).

Lucy Telfer is as pretty and feisty a Maid Marian as any Robin could wish for, and Roseanna Sanderson’s strutting, thigh-slapping hero is a match for her.

Mick McGwyre comes close to stealing the show as Much the Miller, Robin’s loyal but rather less brave friend, who gets the audience on side: a job he carries out with gusto.

He’s only upstaged by Andrew Davie, well and truly back on the Hasland stage as Nanny Nora, man-eating, multi-frocked and -wigged, clearly having the best possible time.

It’s hard to know who’s having most fun, the cast or the audience, the man next to me observed at the interval. He wasn’t wrong.

It runs till Saturday, January 19, but seats are hard to come by.

LYNNE PATRICK