Review: Robin Hood pantomime quite a quiver of post-Christmas kicks

Robin Hood (Hannah Gallacher) gets advice from Little John (Bill Levity) and Will Scarlett (Nicholai Harris) during Shawnigan Players
Robin Hood (Hannah Gallacher) gets advice from Little John (Bill Levity) and Will Scarlett (Nicholai Harris) during Shawnigan Players' pantomime of medieval madness mounted at the Merc.
— image credit: Andrew Leong NLP file

Boo! Hiss! Yeh!

Comments from the peasant gallery were all fair game during Saturday's pantomime party Robin Hood And His Merry Men.

A hearty host of Shawnigan Players spread satire, puns, and gags on thick as Robin (Hannah Gallacher) and his troupe outsmarted overstuffed hams Prince John (Grant Mellemstrand) and the Sheriff of Nottingham (Nick Miller).

The Mercury Theatre was laced with laughs for all ages ("Shame on you!" one lad shouted at dishonest John, who answered him back) during the Players' annual pantomime packed with viewer skewering.

As expected, Robin won the day by knight's end, rescuing Maid Marian (Delphine Menu), and the parents of Jim (Gymkhana Thatat in drag, Lauren Cooper) from the royal rats.

But not before we survive contrived antics by Daisy The Cow (Tristan Sparks, Max Menu), man-hungry nurse Jemima Gusset (David Brockhurst), and a roster of modern songs swapped with medieval lyrics — accompanied by Ellen A-Dale (Emily Brockhurst).

Dark ages' versions of Rescue Me, YMCA, You're The One That I Want, and other mock-rock gems were big hits in this wonderful whoopee cushion that's become a comical Cowichan tradition.

Clearly, Robin Hood and the Players' earlier pantos are pure farces that tease Canada's heavy taxes, snobs, and misguided politicians — embodied this time in the pompous prince and his serf-bullying sheriff.

No matter what next year's pantomime is, it will be a welcome reprieve from year-end stress and the post-Christmas mess.

Robin Hood And His Merry Men runs Dec. 30 at 7 p.m., Dec. 31 at 1:30 p.m. at the Mercury Theatre, 331Brae Rd., Duncan.

Pantomime rating: 8 udders out of 10.

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