Getting 27 young actors to learn their lines for a new adaptation of Robin Hood was easy.
Getting the 10-to-18-year-olds to wear their costumes – dorky boots, shapeless dresses and, yes, stretch tights – not so much, says Nancy Keys, director of the Lambton Young Theatre Players.
“We have met with a little resistance,” she says with a laugh. “When I brought out the first tunic I’d made for one of the knight squires and held it up they looked at me suspiciously.
‘It looks like a dress!’ a voice in the back yelled.”
The costumes designed for Robin Hood are based on Middle Age drawings and tapestries, and the overall visual look of the play is completed by professional light and set design.
“We have some charming toothless peasants, and the kids are excited about that too,” Keys says. “And the weaponry. ‘Can I have a sword? Can I have a dagger?’ Some of them really get into it.”
The one-hour production coming to the Sarnia Library Theatre was written by city native Anna MacAlpine.
“It’s a very entertaining piece. It’s a comedy and very light-hearted,” says Key. “But she really researched it so it’s true to the time period.”
Set in the year 1195, Robin Hood tells the story of the heroic outlaw of English folklore, but with a twist here and there. Several maids run off to join the band of merry men, for example, and one proves a superior archer to Robin himself.
Robin Hood is the youthful company’s fifth main stage production.
“These kids learn so much and work so hard, and we’re always blown away by their dedication.” Key says.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Robin Hood
WHO: Lambton Young Theatre Players
WHERE: Sarnia Library Theatre
WHEN: School matinees May 13, at 1 p.m., and May 14 and 15 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
General public shows May 16, at 7 p.m., and May 17 at 2 p.m.
COST: Children $8, adults $15
– George Mathewson