Robin Hood The Legend. Re-Written Reviews Round-up

Reviews are coming in for Robin Hood The Legend. Re-Written at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in London.

This brand new reimagining of the classic story is written Carl Grose and directed by Melly Still.

The show stars Charlotte Beaumont (Little Joan), Nandi Bhebhe (The Balladeer / Jenny), Stephanie Marion Fayerman (Betty), Dave Fishley (Bob Much), Samuel Gosrani (Will Scatlocke), TJ Holmes (Brasswilt / Robin Hood), Paul Hunter (The King), Katherine Manners (Simpkins), Shaun Yusuf McKee (Brokebrick / Robin Hood), Alex Mugnaioni (Baldwyn), Simon Oskarsson (Boneweather / Robin Hood), Ellen Robertson (Marian), Dumile Sibanda (Woodnut), Ira Mandela Siobhan (Gisburne), Elexi Walker (Mary Tuck), and musicians Amena Alicia El-Kindy, Taya Ming and Marta Miranda.

The creative team also includes Mike Ashcroft (Movement Director), John Bulleid (Illusion Designer), Joley Cragg (Musical Director), Poppy Franziska (Associate Director), Polly Jerrold (Casting Director), Emma Laxton (Sound Designer), Ingrid Mackinnon (Season Intimacy Coordinator), Jenny Moore (Composer & Musical Supervisor), Jeannette Nelson (Voice & Text Director), Deirdre O’Halloran (Dramaturg), Zoe Spurr (Lighting Designer), Chiara Stephenson (Set Designer) and Samuel Wyer (Costume Designer).

Robin Hood The Legend. Re-Written is playing at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre until 22 July 2023.

Read reviews from the Guardian, Times, Stage and more, with further reviews to be added.

Book tickets to Robin Hood The Legend. Re-Written at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in London.

Robin Hood The Legend. Re-Written reviews

The Guardian

"Inventive take on outlaw tale"

"With anarchic comedy, songs and merry gender twists in Carl Grose’s version, the folk hero of Sherwood Forest blazes a fresh trail of must-see summer fun"

"The myth of Sherwood’s folkloric outlaw really has, as the title says, been rewritten, with rip-roaring results."

"Carl Grose’s story of “Hood” and his outlawed accomplices is updated with a climate message and plenty of questions around land ownership, all shot through with Pythonesque humour and the occasional sounds of steel drums. As much of a medley as that may seem, the blend is outrageous, inventive and really rather brilliant."

"Directed by Melly Still, the story is given busy staging: some scenes happen simultaneously, filmic techniques are used to mute the action or draw it to a halt. It is clever but complicated, some confusion caused by occasional disjointedness along the way. But these anarchic edges fit the original, renegade spirit of the legend."

"The humour is both sophisticated and fantastically silly, arch one minute and bathetic the next"

"This is how to rewrite a legend: a must-see this summer."

Arifa Akbar, The Guardian
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i News

"Playful family fun"

"An enjoyable spin on the legend presents a familiar-but-different story – with no time for stereotypes"

"Where better to explore the origin story of Robin Hood than in the suitably sylvan setting of Regent’s Park?"

"The playful pairing of writer Carl Grose and director Melly Still have great fun with our preconceived notions; every so often, the archetypal figure of Robin, all green tights and feathered hat, bounds onstage with a jaunty “huzzah!” and tries to muscle in on the action, only to be sent packing. Grose and Still have no time for such stereotypes, as they have a similar-but-different tale to tell, one that significantly involves more women doing more things. Huzzah!"

"It looks exquisite too, thanks to designer Chiara Stephenson. The split-level set is centred on a revolving central disc and dotted with fascinating spiky wire tree-girders filled with stones, representing the desecration of the natural world that Baldwyn and his henchmen are planning."

Fiona Mountford, i News
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The Telegraph

"This feminist twist on Robin Hood misses the bull’s-eye"

"There's no romance for Robin – and Little John becomes Little Joan – in Open Air Theatre's Robin Hood: the Legend. Re-written"

"It’s lovely to look at and listen to – not least thanks to Melly Still’s beautifully lit and designed production. But despite the considerable creative effort, it finally lacks piercing originality or rollicking excitement."

"This empowerment narrative rather banishes the expected romantic intrigue. Perhaps Marian loves herself; she certainly disdains maidenly compliance. “I don’t like children – I think they’ve vastly overrated,” she says, only half-joking."

"The delight of witnessing arrows apparently materialising from thin air as they hit their targets (illusions by John Bulleid) never palls. Still, for all the brief, bang-on allusions to unjust land ownership, punishing taxation and eco-unfriendly road-building – not to mention some pleasingly ghoulish flourishes (a chest full of severed fingers) – the show never quite hits the theatrical bull’s-eye."

Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph
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The Stage

"Delirious evening of summery fun"

"Madcap take on the Sherwood adventure is chaotic fun"

"Robin’s gender swap is the least of the innovations in a family show that mashes up all those other versions of the story and adds a dash of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a pinch of Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George III and a sprinkling of Sondheim’s Into the Woods. And it’s far more bonkers than even that exuberantly chaotic combo suggests."

"Melly Still’s sparky production, with pumping music from Jenny Moore, risks going utterly haywire, as the haphazard plotting lurches from broad comedy to wry political satire about inequality and climate crisis, with occasional forays into the gory and surreal. It’s a mess. Yet its defiant refusal to follow the rules is beguiling – and not inappropriate for a tale of rebellious outlaws."

Sam Marlowe, The Stage
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The Times

"Too many Hoods spoil the broth"

"There’s an awful lot going on in Carl Grose’s jaunty but confusing version of the tale of Sherwood Forest. Maid Marian — here known as plain Marian — does most of the swashbuckling, spirit forces haunt the woods and there’s more than one Robin Hood."

"While the illusion designer John Bulleid has found ingenious ways to convince us that arrows are flying here and there, the director Melly Still doesn’t seem completely in control of this multifaceted epic."

"The script has its moments of fun, but also feels in need of another edit or two. Best, I suppose, to treat it all as an early outbreak of panto in the sunshine."

Clive Davis, The Times
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📷 Main photo: Robin Hood The Legend. Re-Written - Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. Photo by Pamela Raith Photography

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