Merry time in store as Robin takes to the stage

Robin Hood
Robin Hood

The rehearsals have been going well but now it’s time for the cast of this year’s Cherwell Theatre Company panto to dazzle an audience.

Robin Hood: The Panto is the group’s tenth consecutive festive production and the first chance to see it come to life is this Saturday, January 10 at The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury.

And with that opening curtain not far away, we caught up with director and writer Tristan Pate for the latest news.

He said: “We’ve been beavering away in rehearsals in the run-up to new year, the young cast now joined by the professional actors and this is always the time that things get more intensive and more exciting.

“Working as we are this year with a completely original script, we are approaching the piece in a similar fashion to as we would a new play, so are doing a lot of improvising around the text and trying out a variety of different gags to find the most effective.

“Adding the pratfalls and silly slapstick comedy is always a treat!

“It’s fantastic to welcome back regular CTC actors Jessie Braviner (who plays Robin Hood) and Adrian Banks (Alan A’Dale/Sir Gladys Knight) as well as Andy Allen (The Sheriff) who always does a fab turn as a baddie for us.

“It is especially exciting to see Liam Nooney make his cross-dressing debut as Dame Steely Knickers, returning to the company for the first time since the fantastic Holmes and Watson: The Farewell Tour in 2012, and Holly Creed (Sir Knight Ryder) who joins us for the first time since Jack and the Beanstalk in 2013.

“We are also very excited about our original songs for the show this year, they have our toes tapping and we hope you’ll enjoy the fruits of our labours.

“There are only a handful of tickets left over the run now so we do urge you to get yourselves booked up to avoid disappointment.”

The show runs daily at The Mill until Sunday, January 18, with various daytime and evening performances.

If you want to try to get your hands on one of those tickets – o yes you do – they are £10 (£8 concessions), available from www.themillartscentre.co.uk or by calling the box office on 01295 279002.