Me and Robin Hood review at Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh – ‘a consummate and controlled storyteller’
Shon Dale-Jones is angry. He’s angry about the chasm that exists between rich and poor. He’s angry that the system we live in privileges and affords opportunities to those with existing wealth and penalises those without it. He wants to take a stand, to snap the circle and step outside the money machine.
In his new show, Me and Robin Hood, Dale-Jones’ persona is pricklier than in his previous character work as Hugh Hughes. He bristles at latecomers and exudes fury, but he remains a consummate and controlled storyteller. He weaves the story of Robin Hood together with tales of childhood football games with his best friend Dylan, the difficult relationship between his socialist nan and Tory-voting father, and an accidental bank robbery.
He picks over a number of ideas as he does this, about inequality, social mobility and ownership. Does an act of charity merely contribute to a system that necessitates charity? Do we need to start thinking differently if we’re to fix things? Would we better off selling our possessions instead? What could we really achieve if we did?
As with his show from last year, The Duke, Dale-Jones is using the fringe to fundraise, selling tickets at half the usual price, so that people can, if they wish, donate the balance to Street Child United.
Performed on a bare stage, this is theatre at its most minimal, but the gesture is far larger.