It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. I will allow a moment for you to gather yourself from the excitement of the holiday cheer…
So, my little mince pies, with the season to be cheerful creeping upon us once more, it’s that time of year again for decorations to be put up and placed in their usual seasonal spot. Advent calendars are to be bought, eaten, and a fresh one bought again. It’s also panto time- oh no it isn’t? – Oh yes it is! Let me first of all stress, as a student, that you are not too old. Gone are the days where you stare wistfully at a panto billboard and silently cry that you cannot attend. Just me? Ok, let’s move on quickly…
University of Brighton Drama Society presented Adam Fresco’s Robin the Hood on the 6th, 7th and 8th of December at the Old Courtroom in Brighton town centre. So, my Christmas crackers, you are not too old; this panto was organised, planned and performed by our fellow Brighton students for our enjoyment.
And this is where, ladies and gentlemen, I come in. As soon as I entered the Old Courtroom for the performance the cast greeted me. After being wooed by Robin (Marian wasn’t around- don’t worry!) I sat ready with the anticipation of what was to happen already nipping at my toes! And so the tale begun, in traditional fairy-tale style by a feuding couple, Mike (Flo Murray) and The Compère (Hannah Jones). The tale could not have started without help from these crucial characters to lead us into the story and drop us off into the first scene.
But the narrators were not the only couple who worked well together in this performance for me, Sir Guy (Alec Crane) blended nicely with both the evil Sheriff of Nottingham (Nicci Contento) and the lovely and fabulous lady herself, Grenzel the Witch, played by the slightly less hairy Oscar Stafford. Sir Guy’s lovable lisp and love inspired poems for the fair Marian, were sickly sweet. Along with his upper class airs and graces and lack of wit he was the perfect prey for the sharp and witty Sheriff, who knocked Sir Guy down verbally throughout the play.
Of course the hero and the heroin of our panto, Robin Hood played by Carys Thraves and Marian played by Catherine Faulkner had great chemistry together as well. With green tights and cape and dress, Doc. Martins and a Welsh accent this couple were simply brilliant.
Now let us move onto the lovely dame herself. Her performance was simply fantastic. With a constant stream of jokes, both child friendly and funny for the adults to (which is always a bonus!). Also with the inclusion of the ‘It’s raining men’ song accompanied by a dance during one of her scenes, this dame is one I shan’t forget, a women after my own heart!
The performance was enlightened further by Allan A- Dale (Zac Howard) who was formally the Sheriff’s assistant. He soon quit to be part of Robin’s crew, the merry men, and for a life as an all-round good guy. His dry humour was something similar to that of ‘Moss’ from ‘The IT Crowd’. This different humorous approach was another aspect of this panto that I simply loved and with a name like ‘Allan’ he was destined for a great humorous part in the panto.
All of the cast were simply cracker- pulling- chocolate- licking- turkey- fillingly fantastic. So I stand up and applaud all of the actors who took part on a hands down merry job and a performance to be proud of. And to the crew behind the performance; Rob Dan the Director, Scott Mitchell the Co- Director, Ros Tingle the Producer and to the all of the Tech members who were present behind the scenes, congratulations. Brighton University Drama Society have finished another successful performance, after the delights of ‘Mort’ last year and now a fantastic panto I look to the New Year in anticipation of what it brings for the drama society and, naturally, I will see you there.
And now I suppose there is only one thing left to say…
“Happy Christmas to all,
And to all a good night!”
Jennie Anne Worf