Robin Hood (4 stars)

Robin Hood

credit: Mihaela Bodlovic

Well conceived adaptation of Robin Hood for youngsters retains the original's heroics

There is plenty to giggle at in this version of Robin Hood, created by the now Edinburgh-based Manhattan Children's Theatre, but little for any too-cool kids to sneer at, as the company trades on a knowing attitude to heroics and romance to bring the basic story to fully fledged musical life.

Tom Duncan has the set jaw and heroic attitude for Robin of Loxley, turning the eye of Hannah Howie's strongly moral Marion – niece of King Richard – who David Mahoney's splendidly wicked Sheriff of Nottingham wants for himself.

The musical theatre element is delivered live from the onstage keyboard by Stuart William Fleming, who happily doubles as Friar Tuck. It's this easy-going but very precise delivery which makes this such fun and such a success. The staging is clever enough to move from Nottingham to Sherwood forest, but basic enough to change while the action continues.

There's not too much complexity here, although Mark Sarto's music serves the plot well and provides key moments when actual character development can take place. It does, however, have plenty of energy and a lively imagination that never quite descends to Monty Python levels of humour but dwells somewhere close by.

Assembly George Square Gardens, until 20 Aug, 1.30pm, £9–£10.

Robin Hood

  • 4 stars

Manhattan Children's Theatre A comedic and compassionate musical revisiting a tale of love, civil disobedience and a quest for home. A destitute kingdom, ravaged by greed, is left to the mercy of an unscrupulous sheriff. From nearby Sherwood Forest, one man and his band of vowed compatriots choose to make a stand for…

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