Theatre Review: Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood Pantomime

If you do not want catchy, upbeat songs in your head the next day; belly-aching laughs or laughing so hard that you throw your head back, and if you don't take lightly to smiling and pleasantness after watching something, then by all means do not watch Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood... But seriously, why would you deny yourself the pleasure of an experience of a lifetime?

The Silly Season and Pantomimes go hand in hand to ensure an awesome end to the year and this year's production by Janice Honeyman and Bernard Jay does not fall short. You can expect political humour, silly humour, popular music - played by Rowan Bakker and his team of talented individuals; energetic dancing courtesy of Nicol Sheraton's choreography, mashed up storylines and a whole lot more! Add in a bit of festive cheer (the 12 days of Christmas song performed by the jolly trio: Will Scarlet, Alan-a-Dale and Lenny Loser) and you got yourself the recipe for a joyous end to the year!

For those who may be unaware, a Pantomime is a form of entertainment performed during the Christmas period. In the words of Janice Honeyman, Writer and Director for 29 years of South Africa's greatest and magical Pantos:

"A Pantomime is always loosely based on a fairy- folktale sweetened with some love and romance, leavened with as many silly jokes as I can think of, and peppered with a whole string, or sting, of quotes from celebrities, world leaders, local politicians, newspapers, magazines, TV soaps and reality shows. Add a good dollop of naughtiness, a well-blended mix of your favourite hot hits and jingly-jangly-hum-ti-tum-tum tunes, a dash of dancing, a splash of bright icing for the sets and costumes, sprinkle it all with a dusting of mayhem and magic - and there, I hope, is your annual yummpty-scrumpty Christmas treat!" Janice Honeyman

It is indeed!

Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood combines the adventurous story of Robin Hood and his merry men with the disheartening tale of the siblings, Hansel and Gretel. These poor "Babes in the Woods" played by Kyra Green and Dale Scheepers, are driven out of their home and into the woods by their new evil step mommy, Dame Emmerentia the Ugly, unashamedly performed by LJ Urbani.

Their broom salesman father, Lenny (Clive Gilson) calls for help and thus intertwines into an awesome storyline where Robin Hood (Izak Davel) and his band of Merry Men (Bongi Mthombeni, Jaco Van Rensburg, Candida Mosoma) along with Friar Tuck (Desmond Dube) and Little John (Phumi Mncayi) try to save the day.

Throw in the evil villain of the story, Norman the Nasty, Sheriff of Nottingham (Graham Hopkins) who does a "State Capture" by taking new aged "girl powered" Maid Marian (Carmen Pretorius) and top it all off with the quirky and ever delightful Spirit of the Forest, Silly Sylviana played by Kate Normington.

A brilliant performance by all the actors and actresses teamed up with well executed behind the scenes production and management, makes for a delightful show for audiences of all ages. Be sure not to miss this amazing production at the Joburg Theatre until the 30th of December 2016.

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