Robin Hood, Williamson Park, Lancaster
Robin, Marion and the Merry Men and women couldn’t possibly ask for any more than glorious woodlands, the dramatic Ashton Memorial and a warm, balmy, summer evening as a setting for their evocation of the classic tale - or could they?
But this is no ordinary re-telling, instead interpreted by director Joe Sumsion with an Orwellian twist.
The morals of the story are given a shakeup in a dystopian world where Marion is a damaged beauty and Robin a dry moralist.
Tannoy announcements, military style motorbikes and security patrols flavour the scene with menace to create this story
I personally found the storyline tricky to follow, only really warming up at around location three.
There is little connection between Robin (Noel White) and Marion (Loren O’Dair) who, despite acting their hearts out individually, fail to make a future relationship believable as Marion in particular comes across as thoroughly unlikeable until the very final act.
Shakespearian references abound, particularly in the scene in the park’s natural amphitheatre which provides an incredibly dramatic setting with some excellent special effects.
The cast are undoubtedly multi-talented but struggle to interpret the script at times, with a resulting clunkiness. Lauren Silver as Scarlet stood out for me, an actor and singer with the most strongly defined character who brought a smile easily although Sue McCormick as food-obsessed Tucky had the best one-liners and audience connection.
Some plot twists aren enjoyable, including the female sheriff.
But for me the musical interludes were the strongest and the final scenes, at the Ashton Memorial, lit up in multicolours, the most successful, despite competing with an astonishing sunset.
Robin Hood is at Williamson Park until August 17.