Reviewed by Joseph Michael Mishler
It was in grand style that The Adventures of Robin Hood opened at Flint Youth Theatre on 8/11/2017.
The story of Robin Hood is an age-old tale that never really tires audiences, however this show is different in the sense that there were only two actors who played most of the characters in the story. And they played on a stage that was stripped bare except for equipment along the sidewalls and shelves containing a large number of plastic tubs across the back wall.
The playwright, Oliver Emanuel, has written and worked in a number of countries. One of his plays won Best Show for Children and Young people at the UK Theatre. The Adventures of Robin Hood is for all ages.
Early Rock n’ Roll music played during the pre-show. The play started when Brandon A. Wright entered as a custodian mopping the stage floor. He would eventually play Robin Hood. Bret Beaudry entered in the back a moment later. He was also a custodian. The play started with both doing a shadow show introducing Robin Hood. It was a great beginning.
Both actors remained dressed as custodians throughout the show. Even though they used custodial equipment for weapons, costumes, and other props, they were always convincing! The action was non-stop throughout the play. Transitions from one character to another and from scene to scene were flawless, and the timing was superb.
Director Michael Lluberes selected two strong actors for this production. They were an excellent team. The action was so well choreographed that the chaos and mayhem looked quite natural. Using ladders, plastic tubs, buckets of water, and custodial equipment, they created these scenes with ease.
Bret Beaudry moved in and out of his characters seamlessly. He played both the Sheriff and Maid Marion very convincingly. One of the best scenes came early in the play when he was portraying Little John. He and Robin Hood were fighting in the river and Little John nearly drowned. All of this was done using a green bucket with water in it; a very well played scene.
Brandon A. Wright played Robin Hood and the wolf. There were so many great scenes, but one that stood out was when the Sheriff pulled the tail out of the wolf. One almost felt sorry for the wolf. Brandon reacted effortlessly to all of the character changes.
The rescue of Robin Hood at the end of the play was splendid. They completely trashed the set as a sword fight ensued amidst thousands of gold pieces. Gold pieces flew in every direction as Robin and the Sheriff dueled. When all was said and done and Robin was saved, the two actors returned to their custodial duties.
This is an energetic, funny play that will keep audiences interested from the start to finish. I enthusiastically recommend this play for all audiences. There is no intermission.
The Adventures of Robin Hood runs from August 11-20, 2017 at Bower Theatre. The theatre is located 1220 East Kearsley St., Flint MI 48503. For tickets or information call 810-257-1530.