The Heart of Robin Hood premiers in Toronto ahead of Broadway
It’s a deconstruction of an old fairy tale with new twists, jumps and acrobatics. Lots of theatrical effects, stage fights and quirky humour come together in this cirque-style production, The Heart of Robin Hood. The Royal Shakespeare Company does a great job reinventing this story for a new generation, allowing families to enjoy the production together. The show is heartfelt and endearing and had the audience cheering, laughing and standing to ovation. There were laugh out loud moments and I may have personally saved the show when I called out to leave with Alice (Marion’s marriage hungry sister), played by Sarah Schenkkan. It makes for a very fun night.
For all the Shakespeare lovers, you’ll notice a similarity to As You Like It, here too, the maiden disguises herself as a boy and helps the hero find his way to true love. In this adaptation of Robin Hood, Izzie Steele plays the double role of Maid Marion and Martin, who help Robin Hood, here played by Gabriel Ebert, become the man he’s intended to be. Helped by her sidekick Pierre/Peter (Christian Lloyd), Marion has her work cut out for her.
In all previous versions of the story Mr. Hood is inherently a great guy, living with his band of merry men who steal from the rich and give to the poor. But what if that’s not how the story went? What if Hood is just an egotistical ass, looking out for himself and his band is not much more than a group of thugs? In that case, you’d have a great new premise to start a love story amidst the backdrop of a cruel villain Prince, Euan Morton, intent on taking over his brother’s kingdom at all costs.
Then there’s the band. The original score is created and performed by Parsonsfield, a five-piece band from Connecticut that “infuses a rowdy, rock-‘n’-roll spirit into its bluegrass and folk influences.” You’ve never heard banjos and mandolins sound like this and it adds a unique aspect to the production creating an unfinished “rougher” aspect that supports the less-than fairytale retelling.
This would be a great year for a Mirvish subscription offer including Heart of Robin Hood (my other pics to include are ONCE, Kinky Boots, Blithe Spirit and Dame Edna, because Barry Humphries is simply hilarious).
The Heart of Robin Hood has extended for four more weeks. Now you can catch it until March 29, 2015 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre. Tickets are available via www.mirvish.com or calling 1.800.461.3333.