Is there anywhere that can do a Rock ‘n’ Roll panto better than Theatr Clwyd? In my opinion ‘Oh no there isn’t.’
Writer Christian Patterson has written a fantastic panto this year, full of gags, current topics and local areas as part of the humour. Wonderfully directed by Tamara Harvey, Robin Hood is a hit for all. The audience were laughing booing and cheering in all the right places and proves that Theatr Clwyd is the place to be for panto this Christmas season.
The set designed by Adrian Gee is perfect for this show. Over different levels as the Forest of Flintshire(shire), it is a feast for the eye and I fully enjoyed digesting it all. Johanna Town helps bring it all to life with intricate, well thought out lighting and the sound was fantastic all night thanks to Matthew Williams. A difficult task when it comes to loud music and a lively audience but it was done to perfection.
Theatr Clwyd always manages to pull together an incredible cast and this year is no exception. Every single person on stage absolutely shone and gave everything to give the audience a night of their lives. There was a mix of returning cast members and new ones who gelled together so well you’d think they’d worked together forever.
The panto revolves around Robin Hood (Connor Going) and his Merry band as they try to fight against the ‘evil’ Sheriff who is taxing everything and trying to take over the forest.
The fantastic Chioma Uma opens the show as the rhyming Jolly Goodfellow to explain the goings on and to take us on a journey. Going as Robin Hood leads the way extremely well with incredible vocals and great dance moves. Celia Cruwys-Finnigan shines as Maid Marion, starting off meek and mild but showing she is far from that.
Phylip Harries returns as our favourite dame, this year, Lady Myfanwy of Mold (Muf for short – cue the jokes). Keeping the audience in an abundance of laughter and a poor unsuspecting audience member in their toes all evening. Joined by the hilarious Daniel Lloyd as Little John, I could watch this pair on stage every day. The Sheriff’s guards, Clod and Snot, played by Joe Butcher and Caitlin Lavagna, are the perfect pair of daft, lovable/trying to be evil characters. So much humour and characterisation from the pair of them. The Sheriff himself (Ben Locke) absolutely stole the show. Larger than life, camp, funny, ‘evil’ all rolled in to one. He totally had the audience in the palm of his hand all night.
Alice McKenna and Lynwen Haf Roberts also return to complete the cast and are super talented as Scarlett and Friar Tuck.
The talent from this cast is enormous, not only with the script, singing and dancing but they play all the instruments and swap and change depending who is needed there. It just amazes me how much these people can do.
As with all great pantos, there has to be a fantastic fight sequence, and this has a fair few of them. Directed amazingly by Fight Director Kaitlin Howard.
Robin Hood has something for everyone and more and is absolutely not one to be missed. If tonight’s audience is anything to go by, you’ll be buzzing out of the theatre and planning to come back again before the run finishes.
Running until Saturday 14th January 2023.
Tickets available at https://www.theatrclwyd.com/event/robin-hood
Reviewer Damian Riverol
Reviewed: 24th November 2022
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★