Little Red Robin Hood, Battersea Arts Centre

Ali Wright

by Romy Foster

This December, audiences of Battersea Arts Centre are transported to the vibrant forest of Cherwood where big bad wolves, beloved outlaws and worldwide superstars run amock. This inventive mash-up of the famous childhood classics Little Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood make an unlikely but hilarious twist as we follow the townspeople being terrorised by the sheriff of Nottingham in his wicked attempt to build a car park over the village.

The company Sleeping Trees are a multi-award-winning trio who create live and digital surreal, physical and fast-paced comedy. Their 2020 digitally streamed panto, The Legend of Moby Dick Whittington, won the Off West End Award for Best Family Show and was recommended by The New York Times.

This year without the original members of Sleeping Trees (James Dunnell-Smith, John Woodburn and Joshua George Smith) making up part of the cast, we are introduced to three new ensemble members: Simone Cornelius, Miya James and Sam Rix, who multi-role a planned ’40-man show’. They represent the OG’s fabulously, bringing a ridiculous and effortlessly funny panto for all the family. The chemistry between the ensemble is electric. They bounce off each other, playfully jumping from the three little pigs, Snow White’s seven dwarves and essentially, a whole (Grandma) Cher tribute act.

The show is utterly silly and both children and adults enthusiastically give intentional audience interactions like the classic “oh no you won’t”, “boos” and screams for the sassy sheriff and strangely romantic Spanish big bad wolf who had a passionate love affair with Grandma Cher back in the day.

Little Red Robin Hood is a real festive treat for those looking for a family get together this holiday season. It won’t break the bank during the cost-of-living emergency what with the venue’s Pay What You Can scheme stretching across the whole run. The cast are also performing sensory adapted, relaxed and familiarised versions of the show for those who wish to be authentically themselves within the space.

Little Red Robin Hood runs through 8 January.

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