Robin Hood (Torchwood’s Daniel Llewelyn-Williams) and his band of merry men and women arrive in Newport for a tolerable panto season turn of duels, campfire sing songs and forest romance. Last year’s Buttons (Keiron Self) plays the likeable Much, inviting us all to join his fantastic gang. After 15 years away at Knight School, Robin returns to his childhood home and sweetheart Maid Marion (Elin Llwyd of Pobol Cwm). Baddies are provided by a sappy 50s pimp rocker Sheriff of Nottingham (Richard Elis) and his evil mother Mandragoria (Julie Hobbs).
Funny man Self drops in plenty of satirical jokes for the adults while Harry Potter and The Hobbit also both get references. Song choices and executions are mostly weak, although a number introducing the “bad, bad Sheriff of Nottingham” is entertaining, and a finale rendition of Blues Brothers song, Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, sees the entire cast don shades. Special mention to the younger performers, who are confident and well-rehearsed and provide plenty of visual gags.
Showy sets and special effects are eschewed but there are also plenty of interactive opportunities from joining in a sing-a-long of The Adventures of Robin Hood TV theme song to the standard silliness of a panto rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas.