ALL AND Sundry provided another festive feelgood extravaganza when they staged Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood at Artrix.
A packed crowd watched on as the show, full of groan-tastic gags, reams of risqué innuendo, foot-tapping music, dance and plenty of audience participation, was performed.
The Stage Door Dance Academy’s choreography and routines were flawless throughout. Their opening numbers to each act set the scene perfectly and ‘Hushaby Mountain’ the Take That classic ‘The Greatest Day’ were wonderful.
The on-stage chemistry between James Ralley and Dave Healing as Bashem and Thumpem and Graham Forbes as the evil Sheriff of Nottingham and Barbara Treen as Pokem was excellent and generated many memorable moments.
Emma Stevens was a strong Robin Hood, Catrin Charmley portrayed lovable but hapless Fairy Fern well and Max Ponsonby as Hayrick invoked plenty of audience reaction from those watching, young and old.
The UV show of luminous dancing characters was impressive on the eye and a superb way to bring the curtain down on the first act.
Highlights in the second half included the magic hat scene and the tongue-twisting ‘perfectly plucked pheasant present from a peasant’ routine – both gained well-earned rapturous applause after their successful executions.
Among the musical highlights were Anja Parkes’ (Maid Marion) rendition of One Fine Day and Rianne Hawkins’ (Queen Arachnid) ‘Evil’ number.
David Mann was an audience favourite as posh, butter-wouldn’t melt, Prince John and his performance brought plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.
And Mark Clayton again excelled and owned the stage as dame Nurse Nora Nutjob, As well as diligently delivering double ententre after double entendre he had plenty of bawdy banter with the audience (particularly with the gentleman in the third row).
It was also a joy to see babes Rosie and Jim – played by Daisy Green and Harry Longley – take centre stage on numerous occasions. The crowd took them to their hearts and, such were their performances, it would not be surprising if they inspired some of the younger members of the crowd to think about treading the boards in pantomime next year.
Director Alison Berrisford has produced another feast of festive fun and triumph of good over evil and, thanks to her and a very talented cast, this fine British tradition is booming in Bromsgrove.
The rest of the performances are at 7pm tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday (December 18) and from Tuesday to Friday (December 20 to 23) with matinees at 2pm on December 17, 18 and 23.
Tickets for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday shows are £14 (£13 for over 60s and under 16s) and £43 for a family ticket – two adults, two children or one and three.
The Friday, Saturday and Sunday performances are £15 (£14 for over 60s and under 16s) and £47 for a family ticket.
They are available by visiting www.artrix.co.uk or by calling 01527 577330.