THEATRE REVIEW: The Mansfield Hospital’s Theatre Troupe takes a trip deep into the forest

The Mansfield Hospital's Theatre Troupe cast of Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood at the Mansfield Palace Theatre.
The Mansfield Hospital's Theatre Troupe cast of Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood at the Mansfield Palace Theatre.

Is panto season over yet?

Oh no it isn’t!

So, why not prolong the festive season with a trip to the Palace - sorry, Sherwood Forest, for Mansfield Hospital’s Theatre Troupe’s unique take on Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood.

Directed for the first time by Chris Evans, no not that one, the Troupe takes us on a journey back to when Robin and his nemesis the Sheriff of Nottingham were at loggerheads.

This tale centres on the dastardly Sheriff (Martin Killick ) trying to get his dirty mitts on King Richard’s gold.

But of course his mission to do so is thwarted by Robin (Rachel Best) and his band of Merry Men.

Double act Snivel (Max Hastings) and Grovel (Millie Hastings) are at the heart of the comedy capers throughout, while the colourful and hilariously named Nurse Nellie Nickerlastic (Trevor Brownley)interacts superbly with the audience. Oh yes he does . . .

A special mention must also go to the dancers from Happy Feet Dance Studio who added a touch of glamour to proceedings.

This year’s production had a younger, fresher feel to previous pantos by the Troupe - and it is apparent there’s a ‘changing of the guard’ taking place, both on stage and behind the scenes.

Even with an injection of fresh blood, this is once again a slick, polished panto with acting from the top drawer.

The set is superb and the costumes brilliant.

I have often said before that you tend to forget you’re watching a group of enthusiastic volunteers who tread the boards with the ultimate aim of providing a laugh and raising money for good causes around the area.

The Troupe has raised more than £120,000 for charity from 36 pantomimes down the years - so why not put your hand in your pocket and pop down to the Palace Theatre to support this fantastic group.

- Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood runs at the Mansfield Palace Theatre until Saturday. For tickets contact the box office on 01623 633133 or visit www.mansfield.gov.uk/palacetheatre