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
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
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
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 Benzing1,
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
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.