Welcome! This is your first free article. Get more free articles when you sign up with your email.

Maid Marian and the Merry Men

“Hits the target”

This year’s pantomime at the Swan Theatre breaks with tradition by placing Maid Marian rather than Robin Hood centre stage, and pairing her with a formidably forceful female Sheriff.

The resulting scenario is uncannily reminiscent of As You Like It, and the acting of both performers is sensitively assured. In many ways this is a production in pastel shades: it eschews lurid coarseness and celebrity casting for wholesome family fare – this is panto as it should be.

Sherwood has become Arden in designer Gareth Morgan’s hands. But author Chris Jaeger and the cast pay retain many of the essential delights of panto, from hissable villainy to outrageous panto-damery. The production has an irresistible exuberance and fires up its audience accordingly.

The choreography is sharp too, and the medley finale is a masterclass of the art. Genevieve Lowe’s Marian is feisty and confident, while Tom Riddell’s Robin Hood is a modern man in touch with his female side. Liz Grand treats us to an audience-inflaming Sheriff with Wilf Williams as her comically chaotic sidekick, Guy of Gisborne.

John-Robert Partridge’s Dame Ginny faces a stern challenge in following Ben Humphrey’s sequence of star turns in this venue, but he meets it magnificently. The brilliant puppet sequence is the icing on this Christmas cake.


Related to this Review

Snow WhiteSnow White

Production Details
Production nameMaid Marian and the Merry Men
StartsDecember 3, 2018
EndsJanuary 6, 2019
Running time2hrs 10mins
AuthorChris Jaeger
DirectorBen Humphrey
Musical directorRick Godsall
Set designerGareth Morgan
Costume designerHannah Marshall
Lighting designerJack Coleman
Sound designerStu Hunt
CastCharlie Ryan, Genevieve Lowe, Heidi Gowthorpe, Jamie Kwasnik, John-Robert Partridge, Liz Grand, Tom Riddell, Wilf Williams
ProducerWorcester Rep Company
VerdictTwo strong female leads create a pantomime that hits all its targets
Add New Comment
You must be logged in to comment.

Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue

Invest in The Stage today with a subscription starting at just £3.98
The Stage
© Copyright The Stage Media Company Limited 2020
Linked In