Robin Hood and his Merry Men will leap onto the RDC Arts Centre stage

He’s been robbing from the rich and giving to the poor for at least 600 years — and there’s no end in sight to his fabled adventures.

He’s been robbing from the rich and giving to the poor for at least 600 years — and there’s no end in sight to his fabled adventures.

Jaunty outlaw Robin Hood made his first appearance in a 1377 poem. His feats of daring-do in Sherwood Forest were followed up in 15th-century English ballads.

Skip ahead three more centuries and the tales of Robin and his Merry Men have played out many times on the big screen — from Walt Disney’s animated film, to live-action flicks starring a succession of men in tights, including Errol Flynn, Sean Connery and Kevin Costner.

Now it’s Red Deer College’s turn to tackle the timeless tale: Robin Hood, as adapted by Canadian playwright Ruth Smillie, will open on Thursday, Nov. 24, on the RDC Arts Centre stage.

It will be a lavish spectacle, with eye-popping sets, colourful costumes and actors trained in archery and stage combat, promised director Kevin McKendrick.

But beyond the theatrical trappings, and some lively song-and-dance numbers, he believes the story will be relevant to our own times.

Not only was rich-versus-poor a huge issue in the recent American election, but Alberta’s NDP government is all set to introduce an unpopular carbon tax on all oil and natural gas purchases in the province.

McKendrick wryly noted it was King John’s unfair taxation of his subjects that caused Robin Hood to turn outlaw in the first place. “Some people were feeling oppressed, and certainly there’s a strong feeling of that today!”

Most of us know something about Robin: He battles with Little John on a log over the river; disguises himself to compete in an archery contest; woos the fair Maid Marion.

These scenes and less familiar ones will be part of the RDC production. For instance, McKendrick said Robin will help the minstrel Alan A’Dale rescue the Lady Lily from marriage to a man she doesn’t love.

The mostly second-year theatre students were challenged in many ways: They had to learn to launch arrows without spearing any cast members, and were also put into the key roles of choreographer, music director and fight captain.

McKendrick called it a pleasure to work with such a talented group on a “swashbuckling tale” of good versus evil.

Tickets for the show (for ages 8 and up) that runs to Dec. 3 are available from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Horrors of the Holocaust are remembered by Red Deerians

Shirley Rimer’s parents lost their entire families to the camps

Arlene Dickinson from Dragons’ Den in Red Deer: reinvent yourself through recession

Arlene Dickinson still remembers the time she got a strawberry milkshake dumped… Continue reading

Calgary sport school that grooms Olympic champions threatened with shutdown

CALGARY — The National Sport School in Calgary that produces Olympic and… Continue reading

Country music fans enjoy free concert at Red Deer mall, ahead of ACMA awards

Fans like to get up close and personal and that’s exactly what… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Feb. 1 A Jump Rope Competition will be held at the Abbey… Continue reading

Calgary sport school that grooms Olympic champions threatened with shutdown

CALGARY — The National Sport School in Calgary that produces Olympic and… Continue reading

Quebec to seek consensus on offering medical aid in dying to mentally ill

MONTREAL — Quebec on Monday walked back a plan to offer medical… Continue reading

GOP defends Trump as Bolton book adds pressure for witnesses

WASHINGTON — Senators faced mounting pressure Monday to summon John Bolton to… Continue reading

Venezuelan opposition leader meets Champagne, Trudeau as part of world tour

OTTAWA — Canada wants to “reinvigorate” the effort to bring democracy to… Continue reading

Quebec mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette seeks reduced sentence

QUEBEC — A lawyer representing convicted Quebec City mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette… Continue reading

Quebec police find bodies of two of four missing French snowmobilers

ST-HENRI-DE-TAILLON, Que. — A Quebec provincial police search-and-rescue team retrieved the bodies… Continue reading

Leaders pay tribute, MPs call for justice for Canadians who died on Flight PS752

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has paid tribute in the House… Continue reading

Most Read