Medieval folklore comes alive with sword fights and archery as the Prince of Thieves and his merry men do all the wrong things for all the right reasons. Robin Hood inspires us in his fight for justice and attempts to equalize the paupers with the pampered. Word play and physical comedy make light of the Sheriff of Nottingham and his soldiers’ desperate attempts to capture the elusive Robin. With relentless quick wit and narrow escapes, this is the legendary tale of good versus evil.
“Robin Hood’s story is a classic, and this interpretation is particularly appealing to today’s youth. Helping the poor is always a good message. Fast-action, sword fights, trickery and puns make medieval history all the more exciting.” – Linda Hartzell
Eve Alvord Theatre
For Ages 8+
This production has past.
“so good it goes beyond being just a “kid show.””
flora lynn isaacson (for just events)
Bravery, Equality, Poverty, Medieval Folklore, English Culture, Taxes, Monarchies
Approx. 75 Minutes
Cast and Design Team
Hans Altwies (Northern Lands) plays the character of Robin Hood, and is joined by Basil Harris (Go, Dog. Go!), Hana Lass (Go, Dog. Go!) and David Quicksall (Northern Lands). The story is theatrically told through fast action, sword fights, trickery and puns, making medieval history all the more exciting. The production team is led by Set Designer Jennifer Lupton, Costume Designer Catherine Hunt, Lighting Designer Geoff Korf, Sound Designer Chris R. Walker, and Fight Director Geoffrey Alm, who played Friar Tuck in SCT’s original production of Robin Hood in 1986.
Alm, who teaches stage fighting for MFA programs, says that for every minute of stage fighting, there are 15 to 20 hours of rehearsal work behind it. Because of the strong physicality of the production, the sets and costumes had to be heavily considered. “We needed the world to be magical but tough at the same time,” explains Set Designer Jennifer Lupton. “We’re pushing the action into the audience so they can become characters themselves.” Costume Designer Catherine Hunt created the costumes with that same edge and lore. She describes the pieces as post-apocalyptic (a la Mad Max) meets Alexander McQueen’s 2009 runway show. “The fact that the script has both medieval and contemporary aspects really lends itself well to a mixed bag of styles,” says Hunt.
When we enter Nottingham, homes are devastated and townspeople are poor and begging. King Richard has gone off to fight in the Crusades and left the country in the hands of his brother, Prince John, a greedy, selfish ruler with a penchant for taxing the poor and literally bathing in his money. Robin Hood, the legendary outlaw, has stolen gold from the Prince and redistributed it among the poor. He is helped by the merry men, a group of fellow outlaws who support him in his fight against the Prince. Robin is a thorn in the side of the Sheriff of Nottingham and a threat to the authoritarian rule of Prince John. He must be dealt with.
But when they try to capture him, the Sheriff’s men fall for Robin’s every trick. Hoping to lure him from the woods, soldiers arrest one of Robin’s men. Just as they are ready to hang him, Robin, perfectly disguised as a woman, frees the captive right out from under the soldiers’ watch.
The Sheriff then hatches a plan to use the beautiful Maid Marian as bait for Robin. Marian is forced to take part in the scheme when the Sheriff threatens her father’s life. By acting as a damsel-in-distress, she is meant to lure Robin to her aid and leave a well-marked trail to the merry men’s hideout. Naturally, upon meeting Robin she becomes enamored with the charming do-gooder and returns to the Sheriff with a fictional tale about the plot having been foiled by Robin’s men. But the Sheriff can tell that Robin won Marian’s heart.
The Sheriff’s next ploy is to marry Marian. This should bring a jealous Robin Hood running. Except Marian proves to have a stronger spirit than the Sheriff expects and she escapes into the forest where she disguises herself as a forester and searches for Robin.
Making one more attempt to find Robin’s hiding place, the Sheriff makes himself up to look like a poor farmer seeking help from the outlaw. He bungles his performance, gives himself away and is driven out of the forest after having been robbed and humiliated by Robin and his merry men.
Certainly, an archery competition promising an extraordinary award will bring Robin out into the open - or so the Sheriff and his men believe. Much to their dismay, Robin Hood fails to appear. That is, the Robin they expect to see isn’t there. Disguised as a bearded older man, Robin delivers a remarkable show of archery skill to win the event. Swords really fly when the Sheriff uncovers Robin’s deception. The lawman is no match for Robin, and the Sheriff’s defeat sends Prince John into hiding. Robin and Marian are married. All seems well, for a time. Until good King Richard is killed on the battlefield and Prince John becomes King. Robin is taken captive, but manages to escape. Along with his merry men and Marian, he runs into an ambush set by King John and his soldiers. Ever the brave leader, Robin orders his followers to flee without him while he leads the enemy on a chase.
What happens then? Do King John’s men catch him? Does Marian ever see him again? No one knows for sure. But whatever happened to Robin Hood, the fight for justice never ends.