Cresset panto is as merry as Robin’s men

Robin Hood at The Cresset until December 30
Robin Hood at The Cresset until December 30

The plot might be weaker than the Dame’s knicker elastic, but Robin Hood still manages to hit the target when it comes to delivering a couple of hours of knockabout, slapstick fun at The Cresset in Peterborough.

To be fair who cares if the script is significantly thinner than Friar Tuck, this is panto and what counts is putting smiles on faces, which it managed in bucketloads.

Robin Hood at The Cresset until December 30

Robin Hood at The Cresset until December 30

And the man mainly responsible was not the hero in green but the hooded halfwit in red - Will Scarlet, played with aplomb by former Coronation Street favourite Nick Cochrane (Andy McDonald).

His was the role of getting the audience going, and filling the gaps, and he did it very well with plenty of banter and self-depricating humour along the way.

No, he wasn’t afraid to take the Mickey out of himself or anyone else for the matter. A panto veteran, he rose to the occasion. A job well done - and who knew he could sing?

Mitch Hewer did what he could in the title role, singing and dancing in fine fashion. But I couldn’t help feel the music (and there was an awful lot of it) was a bit dated - The Greatest Showman apart, and that was Mitch’s best moment.

Robin Hood at The Cresset until December 30

Robin Hood at The Cresset until December 30

I enjoyed Lawrence Stubbings as The Sheriff of Nottingham - he got plenty of stage time but he just wasn’t “bad” enough. He was, confusingly, quite likeable.

His Meatloaf/Cher song (a bit dated, have I mentioned that) was very good though and warranted the Dame’s biggest chuckle from me. There again Nurse Gertie was underused - and Zach Vanderfelt had more costume changes than gags!

Laura Wenton sang nicely as Maid Marion but didn’t get much of an opportunity to shine, while Isabelle Lock showed off her terrific voice to great effect as the witch Pandora.

Finally, a great effort from the talented, enthusiastic and energetic youngsters in the ensemble, who danced, sang and smiled through countless songs.

Robin Hood at The Cresset until December 30

Robin Hood at The Cresset until December 30

Yes there was plenty to make me smile - the set-piece gags were very well executed and a highlight - but this was knockabout, not a knockout.

You can see Robin Hood at The Cresset until December 30. Tickets at www.cresset.co.uk

Robin Hood at The Cresset until December 30

Robin Hood at The Cresset until December 30

Robin Hood at The Cresset until December 30

Robin Hood at The Cresset until December 30

Robin Hood at The Cresset until December 30

Robin Hood at The Cresset until December 30

Robin Hood at The Cresset until December 30

Robin Hood at The Cresset until December 30