Saturday, April 13

Robin of Sherwood: Fitzwarren’s Well – Spiteful Puppet

Fully capturing the atmosphere of a story can be very difficult to do in audio dramas, especially when that story is set in the great outdoors, but in this new audio adventure from Spiteful Puppet, Robin Hood is given a new lease of life. Based on the world created in the 1980’s TV show from Richard Carpenter’s, this is a brand new adventure written by Jennifer Ash and directed by Barnaby Eaton-Jones, and features original and new cast members.

From the opening of the piece the forest atmosphere is beautifully created with excellent sound effects. However, we’re not actually with the Merry Men in the depths of Sherwood, who have all been cursed with a deadly and serious illness, but with Marion (Judi Trott) as she asks the mysterious shaman Herne The Hunter (Daniel Abineri) for help.

Marion learns that she needs to go on a quest to seek the cure from the Lady of the Well (Sarah Greene). Soon after setting off she bumps into Will Scarlet (Jon Culshaw) who joins her mission to cure the puzzling illness which has struck down Robin and his friends.

Trott is wonderful as Marion, with her desperation to save the day palpable. Culshaw’s tiredness really comes through and you can feel his reluctance to set straight out on a quest after his long journey and his protective instincts towards Marion.

Echoes and sound effects are used to create a magical and haunting feeling to both Abineri and Greene’s performances which really adds to the story. Eaton-Jones’ performance as Fitzwarren is very creepy and arresting from the moment he appears.

This is a lovely reimagining of Robin Hood’s world, and in putting the focus on Marion rather than Robin, Ash and Eaton-Jones have put a unique and interesting spin on an old story. There is a nice amount of tension and drama, balanced with lovely light humour and excellent performances.

Robin of Sherwood: Fitzwarren’s Well will be released as an exclusive digital download only, from alongside a range of other Robin of Sherwood audios and books. You can listen to the trailer here

Reviewer: Donna M Day

Reviewed: 16th July 2020

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★