Robin Hood: Arrangements and Story

Ian Stretch
Musical Director:
James Reynolds
Sarah Welch

The curtains rise on the opening number at Nottingham Castle where we meet Maid Marion, Will Scarlett, Friar Tuck and the Villagers. Their merriment is quickly ended by the arrival of the Sheriff, with Herman his henchman, who announces an increase in everyone’s taxes and that the annual archery contest will take place that day. Robin enters and vows to help the villagers fight the Sheriff.

Nurse Norah arrives with the Sheriff’s niece and nephew, Jane and John, and tells him that his brother has sent his entire fortune for their upkeep whilst he is away at the Crusades.

Time for the Golden Arrows contest with Herman as the Sheriff’s champion. Robin returns, in disguise, and of course, wins the contest and escapes the Sheriff’s attempts to arrest him.

Marian overhears the Sheriff explain to Herman his plan to kill the babes and inherit their fortune. She heads to the forest to find Robin but is met by Little John, Will and Tuck who take her to Robin—cue love duet!

The Spirit of the Greenwood enters and introduces herself as the Good Fairy who will make sure that everything comes right in the end.

Scene 3 is in Norah’s schoolroom where the Sheriff has sent Herman, dressed as a schoolgirl, in an attempt to befriend the Babes. Amid a flurry of schoolboy jokes, Herman keeps finding himself on the wrong end of the trick stool and Norah’s cane! Thwarted but not downhearted, the Sheriff dreams up another plan.

On to the Nursery where Norah beds down the babes and reads them a bedtime story (Toy ballet). Whilst all sleep the Sheriff and Herman enter, tie Norah to her chair and take the babes off for a midnight picnic! Norah (and the audience) call for Marian who arrives to help but she is caught by the Sheriff and taken off to the dungeons.

Meanwhile, Herman has taken the babes deep into the forest where he is supposed to kill them. Of course, he can’t do it and leaves them asleep as the Spirit of the Greenwood calls up the birds and animals of the forest to keep them warm by covering them with leaves. Robin enters with his men and the villagers, searching for the babes. They find them and end Act 1 with a rousing chorus.

After a brief introduction by the Spirit of the Greenwood, Act 2 opens in Robin’s camp in the forest where all are happy until Norah arrives to tell Robin that Marian has been locked in the dungeon. Despite dire warnings, Robin still devises a plan to rescue Marion.

On the way back to Nottingham, Friar Tuck meets Herman and shows him how to get a drink from the magic Tiddley Tree. This is a very old traditional panto routine in which, inevitably, Herman repeatedly gets soaked!

Marian is alone in the dungeon (cue suitable lovelorn solo!) when Robin arrives through a ‘secret tunnel’ to rescue her. Unfortunately the tunnel is not so secret and the Sheriff springs his trap to capture Robin and announces that Robin will be hung in the morning, just as Marian is forced to marry the Sheriff.

The final scene opens with Robin on the gallows. Friar Tuck performs the wedding ceremony and then Herman is ordered to execute Robin. For the first time in his life he stands up to the Sheriff and refuses. But Friar Tuck has arranged for a replacement Hangman to be on hand—who turns out to be Little John. Robin is released and given a sword to fight, and ultimately defeat, the Sheriff.

It turns out that the wedding was invalid because Tuck kept his fingers crossed throughout the ceremony, so Marian is free to marry Robin. Norah has taken a shine to the Sheriff and the Spirit of the Greenwood appears and casts a spell on the Sheriff to turn him into a model husband and all ends happily ever after.

All that remains is the audience song, walk-down and the final chorus.