Review: Robin Hood, The Riverfront Theatre, Newport

Newport’s Riverfront panto is back – oh, yes it is! Seren & Rachel Howells review Robin Hood starring Richard Elis, Geraint Rhys Edwards, Aled Pugh & Rhiannon Porter.

After a two-year absence, it’s brilliant to have one of the highlights of the festive season, the Riverfront Theatre’s pantomime back with us!

The 2022 panto sees the return of the most heroic outlaw of them all, the dashing Robin Hood, portrayed by Geraint Rhys Edwards, as he pursues the path of true love to win the heart of the fair Maid Marion played by Rhiannon Porter.  The path to true love isn’t straightforward for our lovestruck duo. However, along with his trusty band of followers, Robin sets off to outwit the evil Sheriff of Newport, creating a wealth of mirth, mayhem and lots of panto magic along the way! While as an audience, we become totally enthralled by Robin and Marion’s on-stage chemistry and unfolding storyline, there are further layers of this production to enjoy.

Richard Elis returns to steal the show with a hilarious portrayal of Much the Millar’s Son. Working extremely well with the ensemble cast, the audience particularly warmed to both Richard’s portrayal as Much and Gareth Tempest as his mum Dame Dotty Doubtworthy, both of which deliver lots of laughs when on stage.

While Pheobe Holmes portrayal of Little Joan may be short on stature, the actress certainly makes for a big stage presence which delights us all. Meanwhile, Aled Pugh oozes total perfection as The Sheriff who stealing plenty of our laughs along the way. Another performance we love to hate is that of Mali Tudno Jones as Mandragoria who laps up plenty of boos and hisses!

Dyfan Jones music direction includes a particularly wonderful score and works well within Robin Hood including a particular song performed by the children as the ensemble danced amazingly to Angela Sheppard’s choreography.

While the cast’s costumes help set the scene, this is enhanced further with a larger than life set which transport the audience to the various locations in the show. Effective lighting enhances the atmosphere onstage and particularly the stage creatives should be commended for smooth, silent transitions between the scenes.

A smash hit panto in every sense, Robin Hood is undoubtedly the must-see event in Newport this Christmas!

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