Robin Good is the alternative panto from Norwich Theatre Productions. The political panto goes like this: The Sheriff of Norwich, Barry, is up for re-election and plans to turn Norfolk into a resort for the super-rich. Socialist Marion is convinced to run against him with her team consisting of Dame Stratton Strawless and her (his) son Robin Good, who is a gay, vegan and a social media influencer.
It’s ninety minutes of politically-infused witty satire, local humour and diversity, the lose link to the Robin Hood story is about being the hero and choosing the right thing to do… and that’s about it, there are no bows and arrows. However, there doesn’t need to be – it’s an alternative panto, it can be and do anything it wants – which this performance proves.
We have a love story: not only Robin and Marion, the Dame finds love too. We have live music – I counted over fourteen different instruments played by the cast of only four. We have on trend social media interactions, which worked well and were fun: a big screen was used on stage to show the live footage on social media accounts and my favourite section was the PoliTik-Tok where the interactions between candidates was through a parody of TikTok dances.
The use of the screen was throughout and it did enhance the story, it however made the set on stage a little defunct and made you wonder what all the props were for.
There was a bit of padding, however the actors were talented and engaging so in a way you really didn’t mind. Mike Lloyd, who played the Dame has funny bones and managed to ad- lib the small number of mistakes into the performance which was a delight.
All four actors were multi-talented and charming, together they created a fast-paced humorous performance with plenty of audience participation and engagement, loads of cheap jokes and even some clever ones too. An alternative panto wrapped around a political leadership battle, whilst being LGBTQ+ inclusive might be a challenge – it’s panto – who cares? As long as we are entertained for an evening, that’s all that matters in my book!
- Will Arundell – Barry, The Sheriff of Norwich
- Aveen Biddle – Marion
- Mike Lloyd – Dame Stratton Strawless
- Richard Upton – Robin Good
Robin Good is playing at Norwich Theatre Playhouse until 19th December.