As tales of heroic outlaws in English folklore go, Robin Hood is a classic title and favorite for all ages. This adaptation by Paula Wing for Geordie’s upcoming Mainstage season opener has something for everyone. With a solid knowledge of the period, (King Richard “The Lionheart”, Prince John and Eleanor of Aquitaine) and the tale at hand, Wing was thrilled to engage her imagination to write an adaptation.

The challenge was to take a classic story and put it into a context that speaks to everyone, from ages 6 – 106. Says Wing; “Queen Eleanor was an incredible force historically, who had five sons. Her clear and undisputed favorite was Richard. When Richard is kidnapped on his way back from a crusade, his brother, Prince John, must raise a lot of money to get him back. This is believed to be the beginning of taxation; not realizing they could collect from the citizens”. The hilarity of the “taxation plot” by the Royals in this production is balanced off by the villain, the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Dean Patrick Fleming, Geordie’s Artistic Director who directs this production explains: “The story of Robin Hood has the great ability to speak about the lack of fairness in the world, while giving us a hero, or a group of heroes, a swashbuckling adventure and a tale of friendship. I wanted all those great elements in the story to keep the level of fun really high – but also we could still feel really good about making a comment about what is going on today. I was was also interested in having a woman’s perspective, to bring in elements for the girls into a story that is typically told from a male perspective. Paula created a terrific new character, Midge, who is a tough tomboy, and really becomes the idea person in this newish take and becomes Robin’s best friend who is there to fight for what is right.” Says Fleming; “she is super cool.”

This is a big production with an amazing set design, period costumes, zany antics and silliness, comedy in the forest, complete with sword fights and quarterstaff fights; all under the expert guidance of Certified Fight Director Robert Montcalm. The real beauty of this adventure is bringing the already well-known characters to life with an equally brilliant cast: Tamara Brown as Marian; Eric Davis as Robin Hood; Matthew Dawson as Allin a Dale; Susan Glover as Queen Eleanor/ Widow Oddly; Christian Jadah as Friar Tuck/ Will Scarlet; Matthew Kabwe as Little John; Greg Kramer as Sheriff of Nottingham; James Loye as Prince John; Robert Montcalm as King Richard/ Resplendent Cloak and Natasha O’Brien as Midge.

The entire family can join the adventure in the wilds of Sherwood Forest, where the most important things are friendship and honour, justice, adventure and hanging out with your friends. Subscribe for the 2012-2013 Mainstage series and save 30% on the single ticket price. Robin Hood is for all ages. Special opening night fun Dec 7, 7pm with surprises/meet the cast; Sat Dec 8, 4pm; Sun Dec 9, 1 and 4pm; Sat Dec 15, 1 and 4pm with post-show talk back with Christine Long of CTV; Sun Dec 16, 1 and 4pm.

Centaur Theatre, 453 St. Francois-Xavier. Single tickets: $18.00 (adult); $14.50 (child); $17.00 (senior/student/grandparent).
Info & tickets at 514-845-9810
www.geordie.ca.