SPECC-tacular presents Robin Hood panto for Christmas

Robin Hood runs Dec. 13-15

The legendary outlaw Robin Hood is coming to the ACT in a Christmas panto for the whole family.

Heather Hobbis, first-time artistic director with SPECC-tacular Productions Theatre Group, stumbled across this script by Vicky Orman after reading about a dozen of them and was drawn to it because it has characters in it that are not typically in a production of Robin Hood.

There will be appearances made by the Big Bad Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood and a witch.

In this story, though, Robin is not fighting for the hand of Maid Marion, instead he is fighting to save Sherwood from the evil Sheriff.

The production will be typical panto-style where the lead male character will be played by a female and the lead female played by a male.

Children and adults will have plenty of opportunities to interact with the cast, booing or hissing at the villains and cheering on the hero.

There will also be the traditional dame, this year played by past president of the production company Ed Marshall.

“She is your typical, over-the-top, I need to be in the limelight, kind of dame,” laughed Hobbis.

The dame is the nurse and nanny to the royal family. She started out as King Richard’s nanny and now looks after his niece, Maid Marion.

Hobbis first honed her theatrical talents in a small theatre group on Vancouver Island in the Qualicum Beach area.

“I got the theatre bug from being in productions as a child with the Fraser Valley Gilbert and Sullivan Society. I fell in love with theatre but realized that my passion wasn’t on stage it’s being back stage and being part of the production team,” she explained.

She now lives in Mission and travels back and forth from Maple Ridge for each rehearsal.

Hobbis also grew up watching early Disney and I fell in love with the Disney version of Robin Hood.

“I fell in love with the characters and the fantasy of having this outlaw, the bad boy,” Hobbis said.

“It’s really the metaphor of the way society is right now. We need to all band together and work together for the greater good,” she added.

There are about 35 people in the cast, the largest cast Hobbis has ever worked with.

“I have such a high calibre of principles for this production this year and they all have experience working with one another, it’s coming together beautifully,” said Hobbis.

Music in the production will range from the 1950’s to 70’s rock to modern music. They will be doing alternate lyrics to Take the Money and Run by the Steve Miller Band, One Singular Sensation from A Chorus Line, Dear Future Husband by Meghan Trainor and they are even doing their own version of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.

There will be a spectacular black light number with medieval castle props and banners.

There will even be horses.

And for any fans of the video game Fortnite, there will be plenty of references and a Flossing contest.

SPECC-tacular Productions presentation of Robin Hood runs Dec. 13-15 at 7:30 p.m. with an 11 a.m. school show on Dec. 14 and a 2 p.m. matinee on Dec. 15.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students and $15 for children 12-years and younger.

• For more information go to theactmapleridge.org or call 604-476-2787.

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SPECC-tacular Productions presentation of Robin Hood runs Dec. 13-15 at the ACT Arts Centre. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

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