Hear that? That wasn’t Robin Hood unleashing an arrow, it was Falkirk Youth Theatre scoring another hit with its latest Christmas production.
Robin Hood: A Pantomime Adventure was certainly on target for the audience – you could tell by the boos, laughter, cheers and applause.
The youngsters always put on a colourful spectacular but this was positively dizzying – the opening number was dazzling, with the multi-coloured chorus whirling about the stage.
They make it look effortless, but it can’t be easy creating such a wonderful visual treat with so many involved.
The production cleverly incorporates a wealth of talents – dancing, singing, even a little bit of juggling and sword fighting – and allows everyone to shine without sacrificing pace.
Polmont writer Simon Beattie’s witty script was peppered with local references and crammed with jokes – some of which drew groans admittedly – and the story whizzed along, pausing only for song and dance routines that really put the young cast through their paces.
The dancers displayed their talents in routines such as the Dancing Rats, while the junior members were a delight in Rockin’ Robin.
The Wandering Minstrels (not Smarties!) did a first rate job of pulling the story together in a very entertaining fashion and they provided some stunning vocals in big numbers, such as Skid Row, which was a highlight for me.
The principals too rose to the occasion; Niamh Cowling made a sparky Robin Hood, with Melissa Cook a feisty Maid Marion.
David O’Donnell’s Widow Cranky carried off his outrageous costumes with great aplomb and nabbed most of the jokes along the way.
The Witch, a real boo-worthy baddie, was played by the excellent Jilly Johnstone and the weasly Sheriff of Nottingham was well played by Cameron Borthwick, who even managed to wring some sympathy out of the audience, despite his scheming ways.
Coming into their own as they bantered with the audience were Alexander McNair as Friar Tuck and Craig Smith and Ben Russell as Irn Bru and Special Bru.
Colourful, entertaining, fast-paced and a great spectacle, director Joanna Harte and the creative team should be rightly proud of what they and the young people have achieved together – a really merry start to the Christmas season.