PREVIEW: Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood at Heriot’s McFie Hall

The cast of Heriot Players' production of Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood, at the McFie Hall, Heriot, tomorrow and Saturday.
The cast of Heriot Players' production of Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood, at the McFie Hall, Heriot, tomorrow and Saturday.

Heriot Players are treating audiences to a good old thigh-slapping, child-kidnapping, arrow-pinging time this weekend at McFie Hall.

The players, in their own words, are “a bunch of amateurs who enjoy murdering well-known songs and dressing up in other people’s clothes”.

Maid Marian (Alison Crabbe) and Robin Hood (Steff Potter) share a cuddle.

Maid Marian (Alison Crabbe) and Robin Hood (Steff Potter) share a cuddle.

However, they do themselves somewhat a disservice in that description. They are also full of fun, with comedy timing to die for, and a good dollop of fantastic entertainment besides, in this year’s frolic, Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood.

Every panto needs a villain, and Gregor Hall’s Sheriff of Nottingham provides everything you could want ... he exudes evil, balanced by the character’s ineptness, and overacts to the point of ridiculousness – fantastic stuff.

His partner in crime, Dennis, played by Aileen Collings is the perfect foil, acting as the dastardly sheriff’s moral compass, even though he elects not to listen. Aileen is one of the true stars of the show.

On the other side of the spectrum are Robin (Steff Potter) and Maid Marian (Alison Crabbe). The leading duo give possibly the most polished performance musically, and they also have a lot of fun along the way.

The Sheriff and Dennis (Gregor Hall and Aileen Collings) cook up a dastardly plan.

The Sheriff and Dennis (Gregor Hall and Aileen Collings) cook up a dastardly plan.

The obligatory dame, is Winnie Widebottom, played by Donald Boyd, who, we’ll warn you now, will be looking around the front row for a knight in shining armour before performing a striptease, thankfully off-stage.

And the merry men all have their own moments to shine, with Kate Finlayson’s Little John and Helen Brown’s Friar Tuck standing out.

The story? You all know it ... evil, intrigue, robbing from the rich to give to the poor, attempted murder, a hero that can be too cocky for their own good, a timeless romance, sword-fighting, arrows flying, hungry monks and rabbits running scared.

They take on songs that are challenging – such as Michael Jackson’s lyrically difficult Bad, and challenging for other reasons, Baby Shark.

Winnie Widebottom (Donald Boyd, centre) meets up with Robin's merry men: Alan-A-Dale (Elspeth Robertson), Little John (Kate Finlayson), Will Scarlet (Kelley Robertson) and Friar Tuck (Helen Brown).

Winnie Widebottom (Donald Boyd, centre) meets up with Robin's merry men: Alan-A-Dale (Elspeth Robertson), Little John (Kate Finlayson), Will Scarlet (Kelley Robertson) and Friar Tuck (Helen Brown).

And for moments of comedy, you can’t beat a bit of slapstick done really well ... watch out for the dungeon door Robin!

It’s raw, it’s brilliant, and it’s only on for two nights – Friday and Saturday – at the McFie Hall, Heriot, at 7.30pm. So you’d better get along or it will be behind you.

Oh, yes it will!

Cast

Classroom chaos with a disguised Dennis (Aileen Collings) and Sheriff (Gregor Hall).

Classroom chaos with a disguised Dennis (Aileen Collings) and Sheriff (Gregor Hall).

Robin Hood: Steff Potter

Maid Marion: Alison Crabbe

Sheriff: Gregor Hall

Winnie Widebottom: Donald Boyd

Dennis: Aileen Collings

Friar Tuck: Helen Brown

Alan-A-Dale: Elspeth Robertson

Little John: Kate Finlayson

Will Scarlet: Kelley Robertson

Tilly: Fiona Eades

Tommy: Angus Boyd

Producer and costumes: Fran Bennett. Music: Felix Otton. Lighting: Colin Mackie. Prompt: Ruth Kydd. Backdrops: Cast past and present.