Review: Matlock Musical Theatre in Robin Hood - The Panto

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Witches and ghosts are flying around everywhere this Halloween weekend....

However, a panto may be right up your street if you want something different to entertain the family.

Matlock Musical Theatre is stealing a march on the glut of festive shows by staging Robin Hood at the town’s Imperial Rooms today (Saturday) at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Written by the company’s chairman Les Small, the panto brings a world of fun to the classic tale of the outlaw who robs from the rich to give to the poor.

A Jewish rabbi is the narrator, Prince John speaks French and his cousin Don Giovanni is a masked Mafia type with a Clint Eastwood-esque sidekick.

Kicking off with a contemporary number Sherwood Rap, a good move to hook in the younger members of the audience, the songs are drawn from the charts of days gone by and popular musicals. Highlights include I Feel Pretty in which Rachel Betteridge as Maid Marian lives up to the title; If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body which is well sung and entertainingly delivered by Phil Hurst as the evil Sheriff, Hey Big Spender by Andrea Turner who gives it her all as the less than lovely Latrine and Brave Sir Robin performed by Maria Dent in the role of minstrel.

Acting-wise Phil Hurst and Andrea Turner excel, milking the laughs as the wicked Sheriff trying to escape the amorous advances of the ugly lady in the tower.

Naomi Beckett proves she is rich in talent with her confident portrayal as thigh-slapping, sword-fighting Robin of Loxley.

And Steve Clements tackles a marathon number of lines with a warm and comic approach in his role as the narrator Rabbi Tuckman.

If you fancy escaping Halloween overkill and are in need of something to raise your spirits, head for the panto city of Rottingham and its proper castle unlike that cardboat cut-out on the hill above Matlock!