Press Release


Tiverton Gazette


December 2nd 2008

HOOD - The Musical
Robin Hood tale turned into rock musical concert

  Nottingham's most famous outlaw and his merry band of men are in Tiverton all this week, so make sure you don't miss them.
   Tiverton-based Willow Tree Theatre Company is staging Hood: The Musical at the New Hall until Saturday 6th December.
   The show tells the story of Robin Hood, of course - but in a rock musical style.
   Producer Steve Gage said preparations for the show began by sitting down with director Jon Sowden to discuss ways of bringing the story to the stage.
   He said: "We seem to come up with more and more involved ideas each year.  Jon builds a scale model and we look at how to transfer that to the stage.  Then it is a case of building the set, which this year includes the sheriff's castle and a forest as a backdrop."
   Steve said in one part of the show the technical crew would also be using video projection, which was a first for a Willow Tree Theatre production.
   Steve says the show features a wide range of musical styles.  "The audience will hear some really nice ballads," he said, "Marian and Robin are each singing their own songs.  Then there are big chorus numbers, everything from humorous numbers from the outlaws through to rap and music with a rock edge."
   Steve said the show had a broad family appeal and featured all the familiar characters from the Robin Hood story, plus backing tracks and dances, including ballet interludes.

  Steve said the company was working with great source material with the book, music and lyrics all written by British musicians Andy Brown and Steve Williamson.  The drama is relatively new, so Willow Tree can lay claim to staging the South West Premiere of the show.
   The musical demands a big cast of around 50 people and covers a range of ages, with the youngest performer just 10 years old.
   Steve said audiences should look out for the show's fight sequences.  These have been arranged by fight director Paul Benzing
1, who has previously arranged fights for the National Theatre.
   "The quarterstaff and sword fights are well orchestrated and put together, and the swords used in the big fight at the end are real stage swords and make a real clang when they clash," Steve said.
   The show opened at the New Hall last night and runs each night until Saturday, December 6.  There is also a matinee performance on Saturday.
   Tickets are available from Twyford Photography in Bampton Street.

By Richard Wevill

1- The sword and quarterstaff fights were choreographed by Rick Barfoot who played Little John.