There is something exhilarating and challenging creating an open air production both for audience and cast alike. The old ball court at Prior Park is a natural setting for a site specific piece and this year Robin Hood resides in his recycled, scrap yard of a hideout. Filled with found objects from bicycle tyres to sinks and much more; the detail in the design is staggering and Carl Davies has certainly transformed this space into something quite stunning. Equally well lit with an excellent lighting design from George Seal, this is a visual feast that brims with energy from the huge company.

Paul Dodgson’s adaptation of the classic tale has a few twists and turns but essentially remains a quest for good over bad and asks questions surrounding trust and loyalty.

Heidi Vaughan has directed the company and the use of this unique space adds volumes to the story in hand.

The young people who make up the cast are part of the Theatre Royal’s Young People’s Theatre. Over 60 come together in this instance to work intensively over the summer break. The group work with commitment and professionalism through a story that is both dark and disturbing.

As usual in these cases the baddies get the best script, Sherriff of Nottingham (Emily Malloy) and Guy of Gisbourne (Nick Harris) relish their tortuous opportunities whilst Robin (Daniel Hayman) searches for loyalty from the masses against the regime despite the good advice from Marian (Charlie Roker.)

The whole company work well together and without question as the week rolls on the pace will pick up with increased confidence. However, the enjoyment is evident and the experience rewarding for all. Take waterproofs and warm clothing, be brave and share a little piece of Sherwood action.

Petra Schofield