The cast for the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds’ pantomime “The Legend of Robin Hood” has been announced.
Returning for his sixth year, Chris Clarkson will be playing the pantomime Dame, Little Joan, local baker and proprietor of “Little Joan’s Big Baps”.
Chris has become a firm audience favourite following his performances as the gossipy, girly Kylie Grizzle, one of “Cinderella’s” ugly step-sisters (2021), the gorgeous and outrageous Tiger Lily in “Peter Pan” (2019), Nanny Fanny in “Sleeping Beauty” (2018), Dame Winona in “Dick Whittington” (2017), and Duke Box in “Jack & The Beanstalk” (2015).
Alongside Chris, Craig Painting returns as Sheriff of Nottingham, an evil egomaniac lusting for power and wealth.
Craig made his Theatre Royal antomime debut last year as wannabe pop star and ugly sister, Mylie Grizzle. Craig is a great comic actor as he demonstrated in his role as Mr Pendanski, the camp counsellor, in Theatre Royal’s own production of Louis Sachar’s “Holes” (2021).
Also returning for his second Theatre Royal pantomime is Samuel Knight as Robin of Loxley, hero of the people and dashing outlaw. Samuel debuted in “Cinderella” (2021) as Prince Roger and is no stranger to panto having completed four seasons at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, between 2017 and 2020.
Jessica Dennis joins the team for the first time this year as Maid Marion, no-nonsense noblewomen, spoiling for a fight. Audiences may have seen Jessica’s brilliant comic performance as German air hostess, Gretchen, in “Boeing Boeing” at Theatre Royal earlier this year.
Also new to the team is Ewan Grant as Rob The Baker’s Boy, big on heart but short on courage. Ewan recently graduated with a BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.
Nerine Skinner multi-roles as Mavis The Minstrel and Major Maureen McTavish. As Mavis she is a wandering musician, as Major Maureen McTavish she is the grizzled Celtic killer with a soft spot for pigeons. Nerine is a great comic actress. As part of the comedy vocal trio, The Dots, she reached the semi-finals of “Britain’s Got Talent” with a musical comedy act in which everything that could go wrong does go wrong. She can also currently be found on social media playing a parody of our new Prime Minister, Liv Struss.
Zweyla Mitchell Dos Santos takes the role as Wilhelmina Scarlett, Maid Marion’s squire, a punk-ish and puck-ish political protester. Zweyla has just made her professional debut in the new British Musical, “The Rhythmics” at Southwark Playhouse.
The Legend of Robin Hood takes place from Friday, November 25 to Sunday, January 15 and is a traditional family pantomime created by the same team who staged last year’s hit production of “Cinderella “– writer Chris Hannon, designer Dawn Allsopp, musical director Ward Baker and choreographer Jess Ellen.
Pity the impoverished people of Nottingham – their scheming Sheriff is relentlessly raising his taxes. As the resulting cost-of-living crisis begins to bite, most folk have had to quit the city and move out to Sherwood Forest, as Nottingham becomes the preserve of the uber rich. Yet fear not, for a hero has emerged. Robin of Loxley! Not only does he steal from the rich and give to the poor, he also looks fantastic in tights!
Thankfully Robin is not alone. No-nonsense Maid Marion, loud-mouthed Little Joan and puny pauper, young Rob have joined the fight.
“The Legend of Robin Hood” is produced by Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds and directed by the theatre’s own Artistic Director, Owen Calvert-Lyons.
Tickets are on sale at the Box Office, call 01284 769505, book online at https://theatreroyal.org/shows/the-legend-of-robin-hood/ or visit the theatre in person.