Anniversary celebrations at the Theatre Royal Nottingham couldn’t be celebrated without a nod to the area’s most famous folklore hero.
To mark its 150th anniversary, and to showcase some of the region’s best creative talent, a new play has been commissioned.
Called HOOD – The Legend Continues it’s based on the ballads of Robin Hood and set from 1865 to the present day, to reflect the theatre’s history.
How would Robin and his gang have felt about the slums and rapid industrial growth during Victoria’s reign, the rise of the Labour and Suffragette movements in the early 20th century, or the self-serving greed of Thatcher’s Britain in the 1980s?
This funny, feisty new play aims to answer these questions and more as the legendary heroes and villains are re-imagined for the modern age, living through Nottingham’s past 150 years.
Uncompromising and rebellious, the essence of Robin Hood breathes through each modern-day reincarnation in a series of six darkly humorous tales.
The production will star Adam Morris, Ewen MacIntosh, Jonah Russell, Jasmine Blackborow, Ed Thorpe and Alex Bedward.
It has been written by seven of the region’s most talented playwrights and is being co-produced by Nottingham-based touring theatre company, New Perspectives.
Based on the legend of Robin Hood, the play will premiere at the Theatre Royal next month.
HOOD – The Legend Continues has been written in six sections by seven playwrights from the East Midlands. New Perspectives has assembled a writing team including James Graham, widely considered to be Britain’s most talented new political playwright and screenwriter.
His recent projects include the script for the British film X+Y, starring Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall; the book for Broadway musical Finding Neverland in collaboration with Gary Barlow and producer Harvey Weinstein; Coalition, a one-off drama for Channel 4 about the formation of the present coalition government; and The Vote, a real-time play for the Donmar Warehouse and Channel 4, set in a polling station on election day.
Graham’s personal connections to the Theatre Royal, and to Nottingham, are also significant as he grew up in Annesley in Nottinghamshire and also once worked at the theatre’s stage door as a university student.
He is joined by award-winning writers Andy Barrett and Tim Elgood, emerging young writers Laura Lomas and Mufaro Makubika and the stage and screen writing team, Brian Mitchell and Joseph Nixon.
Robert Sanderson, managing director of the Theatre Royal Nottingham, said: “I was determined that the theatre’s 150th anniversary should be marked by something tangible, something creative and lasting.
“This new play will be the perfect showcase for our city’s remarkably talented creative community.
“In each of the six stories we will see characters instantly recognisable as Robin Hood, Maid Marion, the Merry Men and the Sheriff of Nottingham but each taking place in a different era and in a more modern setting.
“The writers’ individual styles have given these well-known characters an intriguingly fresh approach and the play as a whole brings the legend of Robin Hood, his feistiness and rebelliousness, bang up to date.
“I am very much looking forward to sharing it with our audiences when they see it on the Theatre Royal stage in September.”
HOOD – The Legend Continues opens September 17 at the Theatre Royal Nottingham and will run until September 26.