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

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

Glen Carritt is organizing a United We Roll Canada convoy that will travel to British Columbia in June. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Former Innisfail town councillor breached code of conduct many times, says review

Consultants say 29 of 36 alleged breaches by Glen Carritt had merit

Members of the Red Deer RCMP downtown patrol monitor for drug activity and property crimes. (Advocate file photo).
Two peace officers are training to join Red Deer’s downtown police patrol unit

This “integrated” unit will be the first in Alberta

Students and staff at Gateway Christian School wore pink Wednesday in support of Pink Shirt Day, a worldwide anti-bullying initiative that was started in 2007. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Public Schools)
Students, central Alberta community celebrate Pink Shirt Day

Mayor of Sylvan Lake Sean McIntyre supports anti-bullying cause

City of Red Deer has nearly doubled its active COVID-19 case count since Feb. 10 and has 75.6 per cent of the Central zone’s active cases. (File photo)
Another new high: Red Deer hits 574 active COVID-19 cases

Province reports 13 new COVID-19 deaths, 430 new cases

A homeless shelter was promised Red Deer to help the city deal with downtown issues. The city and province finally released a signed agreement on what the facility will offer, a year after a $7 million commitment was made for the project by the province. (Advocate file photo).
City and province take next step in bringing a 24/7 shelter to Red Deer

It will include a detox and counselling services

Meteor spotted over Edmonton, Alta., on Feb. 22, 2021 by several, who took to social media to share their surveillance camera captures. (@KixxAxe/Twitter)
VIDEO: Fireball meteor streaks across sky, spotted by early-morning risers in Alberta, B.C.

Videos of the quick streak of light flashing across the sky before 6:30 a.m. MST

European Union Ambassador to Venezuela Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa meets with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza at his office in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. The meeting was called after the EU sanctioned an additional 19 Venezuelans for "undermining democracy and the rule of law" in Venezuela and the National Assembly declared the EU ambassador "persona non grata." (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
Sanctions prompt Venezuela to expel head of EU delegation

Sanctions prompt Venezuela to expel head of EU delegation

Capitol Police Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman departs a ceremony memorializing U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, as an urn with his cremated remains lies in honor on a black-draped table at the center of the Capitol Rotunda, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, in Washington. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
Chief: Capitol Police were warned of violence before riot

Chief: Capitol Police were warned of violence before riot

Relatives of inmates cry outside the Centro de Privación de Libertad Zona 8 prison where riots broke out in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. Deadly riots broke out in prisons in three cities across the country due to fights between rival gangs, according to police. (AP Photo/Angel Dejesus)
Gang clashes result in Ecuador’s deadliest prison riots ever

Gang clashes result in Ecuador’s deadliest prison riots ever

El Chapo’s wife goes from obscurity to celebrity to arrest

El Chapo’s wife goes from obscurity to celebrity to arrest

This combination photo shows notable cast members from the musical "Rent," from left, Taye Diggs, Jesse L. Martin, Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp and Daphne Rubin-Vega. The New York Theater Workshop will celebrate the 25th anniversary of “Rent” with a gala on March 2 that will be available to stream through March 6. (AP Photo)
La Vie Boheme: ‘Rent’ musical celebrates 25th anniversary

La Vie Boheme: ‘Rent’ musical celebrates 25th anniversary

This cover image released by Knopf shows "Speak, Okinawa," a memoir by Elizabeth Miki Brina. (Knopf via AP)
Review: ‘Speak, Okinawa’ is a masterful memoir and more

Review: ‘Speak, Okinawa’ is a masterful memoir and more

FILE - Yara Shahidi arrives at the 51st NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena, Calif., on Feb. 22, 2020. Shahidi not only stars in the young adult dramedy “grown-ish,” but she also serves as an executive producer. The 21-year-old, who swaps out reading scripts for text books as a Harvard student, says she’s equally invested in what happens behind the camera. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
Yara Shahidi doesn’t use her voice just to hear herself talk

Yara Shahidi doesn’t use her voice just to hear herself talk

This image released by CBS News shows the logo for the new "60 Minutes Plus" program. CBS News says it is launching a streaming version of "60 Minutes" on the new Paramount Plus service, starting next week, hoping to expose the durable brand to a younger and more diverse audience. (CBS News via AP)
‘60 Minutes’ will have streaming spinoff on Paramount+

‘60 Minutes’ will have streaming spinoff on Paramount+

Most Read