Library Theatre to Present WANTED! ROBIN HOOD, Nov 29-Jan 11
The Library Theatre Company's reputation for the quality of its Christmas shows is second-to-none, and this year's production, Wanted! Robin Hood, a brand-new adaptation of the magical tale of the legendary hero of Sherwood Forest, suitable for everyone aged six upwards, promises to be one of its very best. The show will run Friday 29 November 2013 - Saturday 11 January 2014.
Children's theatre specialist Charles Way's adaptation will be directed by Amy Leach and designed by Hayley Grindle, who collaborated on last year's Manchester Theatre Award-winning production of Arabian Nights. Sponsored by Manchester Airport, Wanted! Robin Hood features original music by composer Tom Mills.
This exciting, fun-packed new adaptation of the Robin Hood story combines the traditional roots of the legend with a contemporary twist, giving us a gallant hero and feisty heroine we can all identify with, Merry Men who are as hilarious as they are ingenious, and a plethora of daredevil twists and turns.
Marian of York, against her wishes, is promised in marriage to Walter Fitzwarren, the High Sheriff of Nottingham. Having returned from the Crusades, the Sheriff will stop at nothing to get what he thinks is rightfully his. How can Marian escape the Sheriff's clutches?
"There will always be an audience for the Robin Hood story," says Charles. "It's a timeless tale that appeals to all generations. Everyone can identify with a particular kind of hero; young, talented, cheeky, strong, romantic, and above all, a good laugh. So step forward, Robin Hood!"
"Having grown up watching Library Theatre shows, I am delighted to return to the company following the success of Arabian Nights last Christmas," says Amy.
"It is a huge privilege to have the opportunity to direct one of the nation's best-loved legends in such a superb adaptation with such a talented team. We can't wait to share the production with audiences from across the region."
Taking on the role of Robin Hood will be Liverpool actor Ciaran Kellgren, who made national headlines in 2009 when he took the title role in the huge production of Peter Pan at the Kensington Gardens Theatre which subsequently transferred to the O2 Arena. This is Ciaran's second appearance with the Library after he won plaudits as trippy student Ben Shotter in the company's production of The Heretic at The Lowry in September/October 2012.
After triumphant roles in the Library Theatre Company's Manchester Lines in summer 2012 and Library Theatre Company's Artistic Director Chris Honer's production of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children earlier this year, Amelia Donkor plays the part of Marian.
Emilio Doorgasingh, so imposing as King Shahrayar in last year's Arabian Nights, is Walter Fitzwarren; Peter Landi, making a swift return to the city after appearing in To Kill A Mockingbird at the Royal Exchange Theatre, has two roles, Friar Tuck and Sir Guy of Gisborne; and Umar Malik, a graduate of the Manchester School of Theatre at Manchester Metropolitan University, makes his professional stage debut as Little John.
Alderley Edge-born Dan Parr is Much the Miller's Son; Christopher Wright, who has appeared in no fewer than 14 Library Theatre Company productions over the years, most recently in The Wind in the Willows at Christmas 2011, is Sir Eustace and Wilfred of Edwinstone; and finally, Oliver Llewellyn-Jenkins, who has recently finished a world tour of Warner Bros' Batman Live, plays the parts of Will Scarlett and The Bishop of Lincoln.
Original music plays a key role in Wanted! Robin Hood, and composer Tom Mills, whose CV includes writing the score for the Royal Shakespeare Company's Titus Andronicus this year, has composed the music for the production.
In addition, four schoolchildren will be playing the parts of Robin and Marian as youngsters. Tillie Amartey from Leeds and Geraldine Spencer from Manchester play Marian, while Lewis Hamilton from Liverpool and Dalton Reece Cartwright from Huddersfield play Robin.
All the cast members will be taking part in the Library Theatre Company's innovative 'adopt-an-actor' scheme, sponsored by World Duty Free, in which the actors are 'adopted' by a local primary school or community group. The actors and groups or schools are in weekly contact during the rehearsal period and then get to meet the cast after a performance during the run at The Lowry.