Saturday, May 28

Bow & Arrow: The Outlaws of Sherwood – The Black-E

I spent this evening in Sherwood Forest or in reality The Black E venue in central Liverpool. It was my first time at the venue and seeing this particular group, City Theatre, Rep Theatre Group.

The promo promises a night of ‘adult comedy that will shock and make you laugh in equal measure’ and that is exactly what we got.

Although there is area for improvement where the vocals and dancing are concerned the thing that would have me returning was certainly the comedy element! 

This was the groups rescheduled first show since covid, and I must say it was nice to see some live theatre, finally.

They provided text to Seat bar service, it was a shame the audience had to be so spaced out and not many allowed in, but all the seats that had been laid out, were full.

The show ran 7.35pm- 8.35 and 8.55- 9.45pm.

On arrival the venue was beautiful, close to the cities China town. The historic architecture as you enter the building is a vast contrast to the modern vibrant interior.

A very minimalistic set, raised seating areas, the only visible item on stage – a projector screen. The back wall was black as was a lot of the costuming, and we could’ve done with a few more splashes of colour here and there to avoid the actors blending into the background and adding a touch more of a professional element.

We had a cast of 16, with some very promising young local acting talent.

The story tells of Bow Scar, a slutty heroin and her best friend Arrow Hunter. Along the way they bump into some recognisable characters from the Robin Hood story, but most with a little twist from the usual tale.

I don’t want to spoil anything for you in case you do decide to watch, but I will say it was very pantoesque and the comedic script by director Barry Levy, was outstanding.

Bow played by the beautiful, Lauren Lilly Wootton was truly brilliant, great comedic timing and the best vocal moment of the evening performing ‘Out here on my own.’

Sound wise the balance of the backing tracks with live voices without the use of microphones just didn’t work, The backing vocals were loud and not being covered by anyone on stage. On a few occasions original tracks were used and actually cut off mid song.

It might be an idea to use music for play on’s and playoff’s throughout to make it more seamless and cover the background noise. The overall volume needed to be louder also, in particular the opening voice over.

A star of the show for me was Peter Sebastian as a very alternative Friar tuck, a true comedian.

I’d just like to mention that it was so nice to have some theatre back and you could feel the energy from the audience, everyone was enjoying the escapism and comic relief. So, thank you City Theatre for providing that!

Reviewer: Rebecca Casey

Reviewed: 24th June 2021

North West End UK Rating: ★★★