Review: Robin Hood Arrow of Destiny

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Folklaw has been rewritten at York Theatre Royal but the production is on target for a summer of good old fashioned family entertainment.

Playwrite Richard Hurford has given a new twist to the tale of the legendary hero of Sherwood Forest in Robin Hood: The Arrow of Destiny which runs until September 2.

Times are hard for the poor people of Nottingham, which means things have never been better for the wicked Sheriff and his tax collectors.

Everything’s bound to turn out fine as soon as Robin Hood comes to the rescue or will it as this production takes an interesting turn.

The classic story is added to with a mix of music, song, comedy, masks and puppets.

Making his stage debut as Robin Hood is Neil Reynolds, who appeared in the award-winning CBBC series The Secret Life of Boys.

But this is not the Robin Hood we know and love but he makes it work as the less than heroic character who does not steal from the rich and give to the poor. Siobhan Athwal, convincingly and energetically turns the role of Marian on its head as a Robin Hood in disguise who does give to the poor.

It is Marian who needs to come to the rescue against the evil Sheriff and return harmony to the forest.

Joanna Holden (Little John) and Ed Thorpe (Guy of Gisborne), who is also the show’s Musical Director, makes a welcome return from last summer’s Theatre Royal production of Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

She delivers great humour and even managed to add to the laughs when she suffered a slight costume malfunction.

The cast is boosted by three teams of ten youngsters from the York area who play villagers and merry people.

This production, although not the Robin Hood we know and love, flies straight to its target audience and delivers light hearted family entertainment.

The Arrow of Destiny runs at York Theatre Royal until September 2,

Box office 01904 623568.