LAUGHING THROUGH THE GLEN WITH ROBIN HOOD - AT THE MILL VOLVO TYNE THEATRE
By Brian Hall
Monday 24 Dec 2012 09:10:00
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It is an old saying, but has a lot of truth in it. Laughter is such a vital part of human life. Dont panic, as Corporal Jones used to say in the hilarious Dad's Army, as I am not about to get all philosophical. But it is true that humour, in all its forms, is a great boost for people, across the board , from very difficult circumstances, all the way to just hilarious incidents. It does not cure everything, but it certainly helps for a time. Any frontline soldier, a striking miner, a person full of worries, would tell you that.

 

 OK. Am getting too contemplative, which is always bad news, as nobody ever listens to my contemplations, not even me really.

 

So. Straight to the point. I ended up in a Panto on Friday night. Not a usual part of my Xmas routine, to be honest! Accompanied by 3 special ladies - my daughters - I landed at the Tyne Volvo Theatre and laughed my head off. And so did my girls, and the entire audience.

 

Robin Hood was in town, along with the Sherff of Nottingham, and many others. Naturally, this town was not big enough for the two of them, and the evil Baron faced almost constant jeering at his every appearance. Naturally, Robin, and Maid Marian, were a lot more popular with the assembled hordes of kids, teenagers, and adults. At times, I almost felt sorry for the hated tyrant in his castle, but given that he was Steve Wraith, a mate of mine, and also was known as Ashleigh Lambias Earp, any pity towards him was not on my agenda.

 

This brilliant panto has people laughing, smiling, grinning, as well as clapping, jeering, and in passing, standing. One unruly lot, namely, all the kids, were off their seats when Numpty - Charlie Richmond - started a good old Geordie Hoy Out. Of sweets. Scenes of crowd trouble broke out as the desired objects landed in the audience. My youngest daughter, Becky, was involved in that particular disturbance, but failed to grab any of Numpty's coveted missiles. That did not spoil her night though. Indeed, he got voted her favourite anyway, and she loved the hilarious scene surrounding the 12 Days of Xmas.

 

Becky's general view that this was some fun night was endorsed by middle daughter, Kirsty. A rare event in itself to hear those two agreeing!  Kirsty thought all the dedicated performers were excellent, but endorsed her younger sister's opinion about the fun of the 12 Days chaotic piece. She also loved the Geordie twang booming out from the stage. And Eldest Daughter's opinion? Amongst other things, Claire is a dancer and has done a lot of stage performance. She felt the show really got the audience going from the very outset, loved the dancing itself as well, opted for the 12 Day Hoy Out as the funniest part of all, and, apologies to the rest of the cast, opted for Numpty as her favourite.

 

Finally, what about the views of ageing Fatha himself? Given that my opinions are usually ignored or dismissed anyway, I still feel like putting them forward. Numpty is not getting my vote, and that evil, nasty Sheriff is not either. No, am casting - if you will pardon the pathetic pun - my cross in the ballot for Nurse Nitty Nora, Maxie Peters. And before any malicious aspersions are thrown at me, that is not because he was dressed in female clothes! No. He had a great game, and I loved his, or her rather, planned future with Ashleigh Lambias Earp, aka Steve Wraith, aka the bad Baron of the Nottingham Castle, after Robin and his Gang had triumphed.

 

In truth though, it would be a hard choice to single out any of that cast on Friday night for special praise. They were all brilliant. And they made everybody laugh. You canna ask for more.

 

 

Tarah

 

BRIAN HALL

 

ps. Unlike some other activities in life, like a great football match, you cannot go back again to watch it live. With Babes in the Wood, you can. And I am, along with my female Affiliated One, before it finishes in early January! And I intend to stand up when that Hoy Out of sweets takes off, and grab a bit chocolate or whatever, afore the younger ones can get near it.

 



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