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Robin Hood - Queens Theatre, Hornchurch

Photography by Mark Sepple

On entering the auditorium at the start of the evening we were immediately impressed by the Lincoln green set in front of us and little did we know we would continue to be amazed by the ever changing set which was so clever with the revolving section and with all the lit windows, it was pure magic.

This was a particularly strong cast of actor/musicians and I am always impressed by those who can play numerous instruments and deliver good all rounded characters too and this was definitely the case at the Queens.

Lawrence Cole as the Sheriff of Nottingham reminded me a little of the Prince Regent as played by Hugh Laurie in Blackadder and this was a great part for Lawrence which allowed him to be completely ridiculous as well as great fun for the younger members of the audience. Georgina Field as Morgana was suitably evil although I did struggle to hear much of her dialogue so better diction would have helped.

Phil Adele as Robin Hood was perfectly cast - he had the right mix of charisma and bravery to make him a great hero for the kids plus he has a great singing voice. Opposite him as the tom-boyish Marian was Barbara Hockaday. Barbara was perfect as the all action heroine and again her vocals really stood out throughout the show.

Ruth Brotherton as little John/Joan did a good job allowing us to know who she was long before the storyline took us there and Jessica Bridges as Will Scarlett was another strong member of Robins Merry Men.

Elian West as Eweniss was delightful and gave us some great moments and I have to mention Robert Took as Friar Tuck who had great stage presence throughout.

However, every Pantomime needs a dame!

John Barr as Nanny Fanny has returned to the Queens once again as the Dame and brought lots of cheekiness and delectable sense of mischief. I felt this year there was more of the dual level of humour with more for the adults, which went over the children’s head and every panto needs this. I also particularly liked the very traditional wallpapering sequence which never gets old and the water squirter – although thankfully we weren’t in the seats who got the full benefit of this!

However, for me what really made this panto were the Junior Chorus, I believe we saw the Willow Team on Saturday night and they were very impressive – high levels of energy and some fantastically delivered Choreography they took the show to another level and whilst I don’t like to pick out individual’s I was hugely impressed by one young man – who I think might be Joshua (looking at the programme) who shone over and over again.

Their sense of professionalism was a great compliment to choreographer, Sundeep Saini and the Director, Douglas Rintoul. It was a great nights entertainment and we thoroughly enjoyed it all.

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