By Greg Banks
Directed by Allison Narver
Back by popular demand, Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men once again raise a ruckus on SCT’s stage, swashbuckling their way into our hearts as they do all the wrong things for the right reasons. As Robin Hood fights for justice, dodges the Sheriff of Nottingham, and woos Maid Marian, the stage comes alive with swordfights and archery, word play and physical comedy. Robin Hood is one of the most popular shows SCT has ever produced, and no wonder – it’s a glorious romantic adventure with charm and wit that never fails to rouse our hearts in the age-old battle of good versus evil.
Fans of this classic story will like this high-energy, comedic version!
ASL Interpreted Dates:
Public - May 2, 2:00pm
Schools - April 30, 10:30am
Age Recommendation: For Ages 8+
Discussion Topics: Bravery, Equality, Heroism, Medieval Times
Running Time: approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes
Press Release: Robin Hood Press Release
Be warned: This is a complete synopsis of the play, so it is full of spoilers
A group of homeless people enter the theater, begging for food. Prince John’s men have stolen their harvest. The prince refuses to let the poor people hunt deer for food in the royal forests. King Richard would not be so cruel, but he is away at war. The hungry people talk about a fellow called Robin Hood who robs from the rich and gives to the poor, though most of them believe that he is only a legend. The beggars then begin acting out the story.
Much, a miller, tries to shoot a deer to feed his starving family and is caught by the Sheriff and his soldiers. The Sheriff offers to let Much go if he tells him where he can find Robin Hood. Much cannot say, and the Sheriff orders his house to be burnt. Much tries to attack the Sheriff and the soldiers kill him, as Much’s son watches helplessly. Robin Hood and his men appear from the forest and force the Sheriff to hand over the money he has taken from the people. The Sheriff leaves, promising to hunt Robin down in Prince John’s name.
Robin then introduces Much’s son, named Much after his father, to his band of Merry Men which includes Nat the weaver, Will Scarlett and Alan-a-Dale. Much accompanies Will into Nottingham to give the money back to the poor. The Sheriff captures Will and sentences him to hang, while Much escapes to tell Robin Hood.
Robin boldly enters Nottingham disguised as a woman. When the hangman can’t be found, he pretends to have a grudge against Will and offers to take the hangman’s place. Once on the scaffold, Robin throws off his disguise and hands a sword to Will. Using both weapons and wit, Robin and Will escape and elude the Sheriff’s pursuit.
Prince John is surprised and outraged that the Sheriff has allowed Robin to escape and, what’s worse, steal his money. The Sheriff proposes a plan, which Prince John accepts—use Maid Marian to find Robin’s hideout. Marian agrees to help only to save her father from the Sheriff’s threats. Travelling into the forest, she pretends to have been attacked by soldiers and asks for refuge with Robin’s band. Robin, beginning to fall in love, agrees, although Will insists she be blindfolded. As they walk to the hideout, Marian drops a trail of white pebbles for the Sheriff to follow. Will, however, picks them up.
At the camp, Marian falls in love with Robin, confesses to the plot and asks for forgiveness. Will proposes that they play along with the scheme in order to fool the Sheriff and rescue Marian’s father. Robin escorts Marian back to the road and gives her a horn to blow if she is ever in danger.
Marian tells the Sheriff and Prince John she doesn’t know the way to Robin’s camp because Will picked up the pebbles. The Sheriff suspects she is helping Robin and refuses to free her father. He takes her horn and decides to marry her to punish both her and Robin.
Back in the forest, John Little blocks Robin from crossing a bridge over a stream. They challenge each other to a fight with quarterstaffs and Robin ends up in the stream. Learning that John Little is searching for the Merry Men, Robin and his fellows accept him into their band with the new name of Little John.
Meanwhile, the Sheriff has compelled the round and jolly Friar Tuck into officiating at his marriage to Marian. Marian resists, grabbing the Sheriff’s bow and shooting her way out, with Friar Tuck lending aid.
Undaunted, the Sheriff tries yet another plan. Ripping his clothes so that he appears to be a victim of his own men, he meets Little John and asks to join with Robin. However, he is too boastful and thick-witted to keep up his disguise and he is brought blindfolded to Robin’s hideout. The Sheriff confesses all he has done regarding Maid Marian and is allowed to return to Nottingham, leaving behind his horse and all his money.
Robin and his men learn that Prince John is holding a tournament, which will include an archery competition. The winning archer will receive a silver arrow. Although the Merry Men suspect it is another treacherous plot to capture him, Robin says he will enter disguised as an old man. On the way to the tournament, Robin meets Marian, also in disguise, and they challenge each other to a fight. After being bested by an opponent he thought was a young boy, Robin recognizes Marian, and together they proceed to the tournament.
Prince John and the Sheriff open the contest and await Robin Hood, little knowing he is already there. All are amazed at the mysterious old man who surpasses all others. Only one other archer awaits. It is Marian, in disguise, and her arrow pierces the center of the target. The old man, following her, splits her arrow in two. Finally realizing that the old man archer is Robin Hood, the Sheriff exposes him. Robin reveals that he is in reality a nobleman—the First Earl of Huntingdon—or he was until Prince John stole his castle, his land and his title. The Sheriff attacks Robin and they engage in a furious sword fight that ends in the Sheriff’s death. Prince John flees as King Richard triumphantly returns from abroad. He pardons Robin of all charges, restores his noble title and attends the wedding of Marian and Robin in Sherwood Forest.
However, Richard soon dies fighting another war overseas and John becomes king. Once more, Robin is declared an outlaw and is lured into a trap. He escapes from a tower prison, but mortally injures himself. Luring King John’s pursuers away from Marian and his Merry Men, Robin disappears into the forest. No one sees him again. The homeless people from the beginning of the play reappear. They argue about whether the story is truth or legend, and whether Robin Hood died or survived to continue protecting the poor.
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