Unique take on Robin Hood at Warwick theatre

Robin Hood by Oddsocks, Bridge House Theatre, Warwick, November 29.

ODDSOCKS’ unique mixture of folk, slapstick, clowning, puppetry and music uses the plot of Robin Hood as a backdrop for some great topical jokes.

We had women bishops, Rupert Murdoch and a number of extremely dubious double entendres that mercifully whistled over the heads of the dainty-eared youngsters, but gave the evening a grown-up twist. Our baddy (and writer) Andy Barrow as the Sheriff pursues Robin Hood (Kevin Kemp) and his merry mates through Sherwood, murdering, looting and scaring: he captures Maid Marion (Louisa Farrant) to threaten marriage. Friar Tuck (Andrew McGillan) to the rescue!

It is traditional and brilliant fun with only a cursory nod towards the modern pantomime. Oddsocks Dame (Joseph Maudesley) was a squeaky voiced ‘Mrs Jones’ sporting Madonnaesque perky pointy breasts (which Amazon-like she removed to take part in the archery contest), a full beard and tall enough to rival Darryl Hannah’s role in ‘Attack of the 50 Foot Woman’.

There are many nods to popular culture, Naked Gun particularly! But that’s not important right now.

A word for the set – wow! What versatility. Also the fight choreography – amazing. My favourite part was the Pythonesque Obadiah (Kevin Kemp) in chains – pure comedy gold. The fact that occasionally things didn’t go as smoothly as they might never seemed to phase the seasoned performers – in fact the opposite.

Music – specially written by Lucy Ward - was gorgeous and beautifully performed. Robin triumphs and wins the lady. Our baddy, plans thwarted, petulantly threatens to cancel Christmas. Exit pursued by a bear behind.

Jane Howard