With seven writers commissioned to produce separate scenes for a new take on the Robin Hood legend, there was always a risk.
But despite a niggling sense of incoherence, the performance of Hood at the Theatre Royal offers an interesting showcase of Nottingham’s history, as well as an unusual use of its legendary characters.
Each scene places Robin, Maid Marian, Alan A Dale and Little John in a time period from the last 150 years. This means Robin Loxley ends up as a Labour politician, the boys as Sherwood Foresters during the war and Maid Marian as a suffragette.
The highlights can be found in the abundance of local references, along with its witty exploration of Robin Hood’s place in a modern, ever-changing Nottingham.
However, although there are some great moments and clever scenarios, it seems that the performance somehow fails to fully hold together and, as a result, feels a bit lost and weak at times.
A great deal of the play is held together by a strong performance from Alan A Dale (Ed Thorpe), involving various musical instruments.
On the whole, Hood was a rare and fitting play to celebrate 150 years of the Theatre Royal in Nottingham, which shouldn’t be missed by locals.
Hood is running until Saturday (September 26). Call 0115 9419419 for tickets.