Robin Hood (centre), played by Nicole Darlington, conspires with his Merry Men in the Nanaimo Theatre Group production of Robin Hood and his Very Merry Men at Bailey Studio. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo Theatre Group staging Robin Hood as its Christmas pantomime

‘Robin Hood and his Very Merry Men’ will be presented at Bailey Studio starting next week

As opening night nears for the Nanaimo Theatre Group production of Robin Hood and his Very Merry Men, director Nikita Towe said the mood can be summed up in one word – excitement.

Tickets are now sold out for all 14 performances of the theatre company’s annual Christmas pantomime, which runs from Thursday, Dec. 20 to Dec. 30 at the Bailey Studio.

“It excites everybody for sure,” Towe said of the high demand. “It is a good motivator … they’ve worked really hard and they’re really happy to put this out there.”

The play was written by local playwright Tony Manning and last staged by the Nanaimo Theatre Group nearly 20 years ago. Towe said Manning was involved with the show’s revival.

“When I approached him about using the script he was really open to it and he’s been a really great help with any sort of modernizations we wanted to make or updates,” Towe said. “Because the script was written, I think, in 1999.”

The cast and crew have been working on the show since late September and Towe said it’s been incredible to watch the production progress from start to finish

“This group is amazing. We have some really amazing cast members,” she said. “Some I’ve worked with, some I haven’t. Ian [Matthews], our Friar Tuck, directed me in my first panto 15 years ago so it’s nice to play that role and then Ian’s 10-year-old grandson is also in the show.”

Drawing from the 1973 Disney adaptation of the English legend, the characters all have animal aspects, for example Robin Hood is a fox, Maid Marian is a doe and the Sheriff of Nottingham is a wolf. Towe said it’s the cast that makes the play a good pantomime.

“You have this band of very different merry men with all of their qualities and all of their quirks and we have a really great group of actors in there and they’ve each brought something amazing,” she said.

Last week the Nanaimo Theatre Group staged a dress rehearsal before an enthusiastic test audience of members of the Ladysmith Little Theatre’s Christmas production Scrooge in Rouge. Those in attendance were quick to cheer for the heroes and boo the villains.

Pantomimes welcome audience participation and Towe hopes to see her incoming crowds engage with the story.

“I hope that in this busy, crazy Christmas season they take home an afternoon of delight and enjoyment,” Towe said. “I think that it’s important to be able to go somewhere and just forget about everything that’s going on and just enjoy something and laugh and have fun.”



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Stretch of Departure Bay Road to be closed until month’s end for road work

Slope stabilization taking place between Newton Street and Little John Way

Jazz saxophonist touring the West Coast with one of his heroes

Weeds to play the Lighthouse Bistro with New York pianist David Hazeltine on Aug. 20

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cassidy can’t support airport development

Environmental assessment needed on land overtop of aquifer, says letter writer

Sound mixer stolen from Nanaimo nightclub

Nanaimo RCMP ask for tips about theft of sound mixer from Koncept Nightclub

Memorial for drug overdose victims on display at St. Paul’s Church in Nanaimo

Flags of Hope Overdose Awareness Display at Chapel Street church until Aug. 29

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 15

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Most Read