Most people know the story of Robin Hood and certainly his mission of taking from the rich and giving to the poor is likely to strike a chord these days.
But Olympia Family Theaters The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood, opening tonight, is likely to come as a surprise.
A lot of the actions and the story are absurd in that Monty Python way, said Tom Sanders, making his Olympia Family Theater directorial debut. The Robin Hood character has quite the ego, but hes still the hero. The characters are slightly different than the traditional characters.
In the play by Mary Lynn Dobson, Hood and his silly band of Merry Men (whose collective IQs total 6, according to the publishers summary) get up to some highly unusual adventures as they fight greed and corruption and attempt to rescue the lovely Maid Marian.
Medieval England is transformed into a bubbling mixture of slapstick physical humor, goofy wordplay and theatrical and pop-culture jokes, Margaret Quamme wrote in a Columbus Dispatch review of a 2010 production by Columbus Childrens Theatre. Comedy rises out of the contrasts among the various individuals and groups, all of whom are diligently pursuing their own goals and interests with little regard for anything else happening around them.
The result is likely to amuse adults as much as it does kids, Sanders said. Its very funny. A lot of it seems to be for adults, similar to the way Disney used to do it for its cartoons, where a lot of the jokes and stuff were just as much for the parents as for the kids.
Sanders certainly likes it. The first time I read it, I thought it was hilarious, he said. Its a beautifully written script.
They were going to do it two years ago, but they had too many shows picked out for that season, and they dropped this one. So Ive been waiting two years to direct it.
The whole show doesnt hide the fact that its a performance and these are actors, he said. That makes it fun.
Sanders said it will be as much fun for the actors including Ryan Holmberg, Ingrid Pharris-Goebel and Dennis Worrell as for the audience.
They really get to play, Sanders said.
Theres a lot of audience interaction, he said. One of our actors is going to prime the audience members prior to the show to get them used to some of the feedback that theyll do during the show. Theyll boo and hiss.