In these turbulent times, you can still hearken back to a place where principles of fairness, derring-do and integrity reign — in the Sherwood Forest of Nottingham, olde England. Northwest Children’s Theater and School’s original production of “Robin Hood” on April 22 kept audience members young and old enrapt in the legendary tale of Robin Hood. His quest for justice against Prince John is timeless, yet the comedic dialogue made it modern and engaging.
“Robin Hood” tells the story of the eponymous Robin Hood bringing justice to Prince John, who seeks to raise taxes on the citizens of Nottingham while plotting to overtake the throne. Young audience members didn’t need to know all of the details of the plot (or the meaning of “coffers” or “cur”) in order to enjoy the adventure of Robin Hood and his band of merry men and women, including Maid Marian, Friar Tuck, Little John, Willa Scarlett and The Kid.
The snappy, fun dialogue and jokes may remind older audience members of “The Princess Bride,” with clever wordplay and puns rounding out some light sword play. The set design was creative and colorful, with digital animation livening up the border of the stage, and cartoon-inspired bright props making the play more accessible to younger viewers. Some little feet got restless shortly before the intermission during the 90-minute run time, but the actors kept up a brisk pace of finely-written banter and great comic timing.
When asked which part he liked the most, my 9-year-old son heartily cried “all of it!” His laughs were most noticeable when characters were in disguise as each other. He especially liked the rotating center stage, which transforms from a forest into a castle, a dungeon, and more. His buddy said he’d have liked to see more action, but that the (very gentle) swordplay was cool.
“Robin Hood” runs through May 21 at Northwest Children’s Theater, and tickets range from $16-$23. They’ll also have an ASL performance on May 6, a sensory-friendly show on May 7, and an audio-described show on May 13. It’s best to arrive a little early to find parking, and stay a bit late to get autographs and photos with the splendid cast!