Sherwood-The Adventures of Robin Hood

Sherwood-The Adventures of Robin Hood,a comedic rendering of the medieval tale, opened at Issaquah’s Village Theatre, this past weekend. It was part English pantomine with audience participation, part Monty Python sketches, part slap-stick, part Vaudeville with a touch of Mel Brooks. Written by Ken Ludwig of Lend me a Tenor fame, it was directed by the Artistic Director of Village Theatre, Adam Immerwahr, and seemed very suited for children.

It follows the evolution of Robin Hood aka Robert, the son of the Earl of Loxley, who is left to his own devices when his father goes off to fight the Saracen in the Holy Land during the Crusades. As a 17 year old, he is interested in little more than hedonistic pleasure, but unlike the original legend, when he becomes an outlaw because he was dared to kill one of the King’s deer, in this version, he becomes an outlaw, when the father of the young peasant wench he is bedding, breaks the law in order to feed his family. Narration for the many scenes is supplied by Friar Tuck, played by Brandon O’Neil, whose charisma, vocal ability and commanding voice was impressive and almost made the audience forget about the unfortunate costume he wore.

Unfortunately, the director had almost all the actors play the jokes for laughs, so everything seemed phony and banal. The essence of humor is tragedy plus time so if the actors are not playing the tragic elements, the irony and comedy just ends up being forced and stagey. However, the performance of Nathaniel Tenenbaum, as both Prince John and King Richard the Lionhearted, was director proof; his excellent comedic skills, timing and facial reactions were truly funny and engaging.

Many people seemed to enjoy the show, my companion and I did not and I felt very sorry for the talented group of actors who were so misdirected. I think children will enjoy this show as there were a lot of physical gags.

Sherwood-Adventures of Robin Hood. Village Theatre. 303Front St. Issaquah, WA 98027. Wed-Sun. Matinée and Evening Performances. PWYC, Military Discounts, Closed Caption etc. In Issaquah til Oct 15. In Everett Oct 21 to Nov 12

Issaquah Tickets:

Everett Tickets

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