CLASSIC TALE - Red Deer College theatre students present Robin Hood on the Arts Centre mainstage. Performances run through to Dec. 3rd. Matinees are also scheduled for Nov. 26th and Dec. 3rd.

RDC treads into classic territory with Robin Hood

Performances run through to Dec. 3rd on the Red Deer College Arts Centre mainstage

There’s always something enticing about heading to a theatrical rendition of a classic – like Robin Hood, currently being staged by Red Deer College theatre students on the Arts Centre mainstage.

Performances run through to Dec. 3rd with curtain at 7:30 p.m. Matinees are also scheduled for Nov. 26th and Dec. 3rd at 1 p.m.

With guest director Kevin McKendrick at the helm, the show features 15 students who work hard to bring the tale to life – against a terrifically-designed, some superb musical choices that enhance the story line, and clever use of lighting and sound to that much more bring the story to life.

As to the story, this particular interpretation was penned by Ruth Smillie, and it nicely boils down the story to its key elements that most folks are already at least some what familiar with.

There is drama, romance and glints of humour wound together as the plot unfolds, focusing on our hero Robin Hood (Ronnie McLean) and his dealings with the scheming Sherriff of Nottingham (Mike Richards), the tyrannical Prince John (Michael Bentley) and of course his faithful band of merry men as they engage in an adventurous life of, as the synopsis puts it, “Sharing what they had and working towards a better, less oppressive life.”

Robin Hood is certainly one of those characters whose appeal hasn’t faded in the least, and neither has the story – one of the constant warring between good and evil, justice and the injustice and staying true to what you really believe in mattered.

It’s an old story, but a refreshing one just the same – and very accessible and universal in what it conveys.

Calgary-based McKendrick, who is also an accomplished performer, producer, teacher and arts administrator in his own right, directed last season’s charming production of Almost, Maine and the hugely popular Lend Me a Tenor several years back for RDC as well.

For the most part, the cast handles the demands of the story well.

There are times when momentum wanes and some of the young actors seem to lose touch with the heart of the characters they are working to portray. Some lines of dialogue – on the evening I saw the show – were delivered as though they were being ‘read’ as opposed to being ‘lived’.

Obviously, that’s partly an issue of experience, but I felt like this was a cast that certainly had the skill and know-how to inhabit their characters.

At times, that didn’t seem to happen – particularly in the first act.

But the second half proved much livelier overall – the actors seemed to settle more comfortably into the art of true storytelling – and the show was richer and more colourful for it.

It’s not like the actors just had their acting to focus on either. To their credit, McKendrick had also previously noted they had also been learning other skills, such as stage combat using the quarter staff, broad swords and hand-to-hand combat, and all students have also participated in archery training.

Standouts amongst the cast include, of course, McLean in the title role.

His natural charisma and energy served the part well, as they did for Kira Kirkland in her turn as the charming, brave and sometimes – when she needed to be – steely Maid Marian. Bentley was great and quite convincing as Prince John – as was Taylor Osiowy as the manipulative Black Barbara.

Sara Fowlow was also exceptional as the horrendous and cold-hearted Oswald Montdragon.

As a whole, and as already mentioned, the cast is clearly a talented bunch – no question about that. But that emotional ‘punch’ just seemed to be absent through portions of the play.

My hope is that each would grab onto the essentials of their particular characters, let the energy flow and simply fire up the elements that are already there – and this show would absolutely resonate more with audiences. I’m confident that as the play’s run continues, that’s exactly what will happen.

Tickets for Robin Hood are available online through the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

mark.weber@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Springbrook Community Skate park Committee receives $125,000 CFEP grant

Group is nearly 75% funded for the $635,000 Skate Park Facility

STARS launches 26th annual lottery worth over $4.5 million

Lottery raises money for new helicopters to serve Western Canada

Snowfall adds some delay to morning commute

The QE2 and area road conditions in central Alberta were partly snow covered

Legendary artist Amos Garrett heads to the City next month

Central Music Festival Society presents Garrett and Julian Kerr Feb. 9th at the Elks Lodge

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

Three Ponoka men and one youth charged in assault case

Police obtained a search warrant and located drugs and sawed-off shot gun

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Most Read