Panto season is upon us...hooray! You either love it or you hate it but for me it always marks the start to the festive season.
Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood is this year’s offering from the Manx Operatic Society. It opened with a good opening number Walking on Sunshine, sung by Joe Hillard playing Will Scarlett, who has a great tone to his voice.
The show had many well known hits to get you in the party mood, such as Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now, Teenage Kicks, which featured a goth-like take on Robert Palmer’s famous Addicted To Love video and was very entertaining.
It was also peppered with tender moments with numbers like Hushabye Mountain from nurse Nora when putting the babes to bed.
Ensemble pieces were neatly done. The lighting and laser light show was fascinating, if not a tad too long! However, the children were impressed and it added to the atmosphere.
My favourite part was the school room scene with Robin and his merry men along with Maid Marion and the babes, with Norman Numbskull as a comical addition.
All of the characters had a certain charm and the panto delivered everything it should. There was the obligatory hero, Robin Hood played by the alluring Laura Pigott, panto dame Nurse Nora played by the talented Dean Callow, Nigel Thijs as the baddie Sheriff of Nottingham and the love interest Maid Marion played by Ann-Marie Craine, as beautiful and sweet as she should be. However, a regular scene stealer was Norman Numbskull (David Lyons), the brainless Sheriff’s henchman, who, according to my children, was just like a character from Horrible Histories.
A special mention should go to the younger actors, who were enthusiastic and talented.
During the first night performance I attended, Toby Irwin played Jack and Georgia Marsh played Jill (the babes) and both did a great job.
Thanks for a good start to my Christmas celebrations – I urge everyone to go and enjoy the show.