Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood: Reviews




Eynsford Village Hall 

Director – Lorraine Slipper 

Musical Director – Peter Nicholson 

Choreographer – Heidi Phillpott   

Sunday 19th January 2020 (12.30 performance) 

You can always rely on Riverside Players to produce a fantastic family pantomime and this year’s production was no exception. It was almost like writer and director Lorraine Slipper had put a tick against a check-list on how to write the perfect pantomime. We had a hero, villain, love story, comedy, ghosts, delightful dance routines, audience participation, trendy songs and of course a fantastic Dame Trott in the shape of Matt Frieacre. Not forgetting the ‘Babes’ Arthur (Finn Prior) and Sarah, (Lily Deal). All the cast were splendidly costumed. 

The band, a quartet of guitar, keyboard, bass and drums, I thought was going to be too loud, but in fact it wasn’t and I could hear all the vocals. Lighting and sound enhanced the whole experience as did the well thought out and designed scenery.  

The story is set in Medieval England and King Richard is away fighting in the Crusades. The rather comedic Sheriff of Nottingham (Jack Barker) and his villainous sister Malevola (Ferne Haxby – what wonderful facial expressions!) hatch a plan to ‘lose’ the Babes in the woods, but of course Robin Hood (Jen Armstrong) and her, sorry – his merry men are there to thwart their plans, with a bit of help from the Forest Spirit (Kerry Chesher). Who is the mysterious stranger keeping an eye on things? Why it’s none other than King Richard (Jason Down) come back to claim his rightful place. The Babes are saved, Robin marries Maid Marion, Dame Trott gets her man (The Sheriff) and all the baddies are put where they belong. What other possible ending could there be to the story?   

All of the cast played their parts as individuals,  to make this show gel. The production relies on panto traditions and talent.The script is funny and entertaining for the kids with enough topical jokes to keep the adults amused. 

Two of my grandsons came with me this year and the 8yr old was joining in with the “It’s behind you” at the top of his voice. I asked the 11yr old what he thought was the best bit, his reply “I got two chocolate coins!” Typical!  We all had a lovely afternoon’s entertainment, thank you and well done. 

Doreen Grierson 

NODA representative 

District 7 


And, from one of our audience members…

Brilliant panto. The musical direction was brilliant with small band accompanying but brilliantly put together. In my opinion no more needed! It was well balanced and the instruments blended well. The vocal arangements were simple and effective with good harmonies and strong voices! A strong dance number in the second half highlighted the talents of both the choreographer and some of the younger performers. The babes are cute with some great cutting asides about the ‘hideous’ audience and the main characters well established. It was nice to see a traditional set up with the principal boy and the ever so slightly confusing dame. The quick too and fro for some of the characters made the audience laugh and the sheriff is now to blame for my two children singing ‘lovely’ every chance they get! Thanks for that. One of the many highlights of the show was the interval number. It was well put together and simply staged. Well done to all involved creating that! The other stand out moment was the fight sequences. A mixture of boxing, sword play and kung fu were chorographed well and added a lot of comedy especially with the constantly drunk friar. It made me laugh and smile. My kids loved it so much they made me come twice!
 truly well done! Xstar-struck