Typically, pantomimes are mainly for children, but not in this case. Robin Good is a panto that was written for adults with some political spoofs. Would they be able to pull off a different concept like this?
Yes! The show appeals to the big kid in everyone. Learn more about this panto (but no spoilers) in our Robin Good review.
*We were invited to the press night to see the show so that we could share our experience with our readers.
The Premise of Robin Good
Barry, The Sheriff of Norwich, has plans to deport residents to Suffolk and turn Norfolk into a holiday resort for the mega rich. Robin Good (a vegan, queer, socialist, aspiring social media influencer), Maid Marion, Drag Queen Dame Stratton Strawless and the Merry Non-Binaries are the only ones that can stop him.
Our Experience at Robin Good
We weren’t sure what to expect at an “alternative” adult-oriented panto, so we took our seats inside Norwich Playhouse ready for the show to start.
It had all the usual panto tradtions and gags – laughter, singing, dancing, applause, a pantomime dame, a hefty dose of ad-libbing, and of course plenty of audience participation. We wondered if the audience participation part would work without kids but the cast made sure everyone was having fun and got into the spirit of it – from the very first line of the show to the final curtain call.
Because the audience was older and knew all the familiar tropes and set-pieces that go together to make up a traditional panto recipe, the cast were able to have a bit of fun with that. It became one of the running gags in the show – trailing when the ‘oh no he isn’t’s, and ‘look behind you would start’. The cast made sure the audience was primed and ready at the right time!
At the interval we made our way to the bar for drinks. They also have a large outside area so there was plenty of space. We enjoyed our beverages and then got ready for the second act.
The show picked up right at the cliffhanger where it had left us. Then there was more singing, dancing, laughs, and of course, audience participation.
There were a few surprise twists at the end – no spoilers here though. It was heartwarming and we left with big smiles on our faces.
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Review of Robin Good
Robin Good is a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek show that is true to the spirit of panto with a serious message of equality for all. It proves that panto is for everyone, not just the children.
The story, written by James McDermott, is creative and funny, but gets across some important life lessons too. Some of the jokes were about the local area and current events which the audience appreciated.
Technology also played a big role in the show. They used the big screen above the stage to help tell the story and set the scene. There were also jokes about dating apps, tiktok, followers, and likes.
The show only has four actors and they also handle playing the musical instruments. Will Arundell, Aveen Biddle, Mike Lloyd and Richard Upton are a very talented cast.
There was one moment where they had a small technical issue with a prop. The actors didn’t even miss a beat and even threw in an extra joke.
The songs were catchy and it was easy to sing along. The dancing had great energy and at times, added to the humour.
Although Robin Good is a panto with a slightly different approach, it retains everything that is funny, heartwarming and familiar about the genre. It’s carried off well by a cast that are clearly having as much fun performing it as the audience are watching it. Whether you are fourteen or forty, this is a show you can’t fail to enjoy.
Oh no it isn’t!
Oh yes it is…..
You might also enjoy our list of Pantos in Norfolk.
Robin Good FAQs
Robin Good is playing at Norwich Playhouse from 8 December to 19 December 2021.
The age recommendation is 14 and up as it deals with political issues and sexuality. If you are looking for a family-friendly panto for young children, consider Dick Whittington and His Cat at Norwich Theatre Royal.
One hour and 40 minutes including the interval.
There is a full bar at the Norwich Playhouse and they also have some snacks (like chocolate bars).
Yes. Masks are now mandatory for customers and visitors, except those under the age of 11 or who are medically exempt. This applies inside the Norwich Playhouse and the Playhouse Bar, except when eating or drinking. Norwich Playhouse staff will continue to wear masks in public areas.
Pantomime casts and crews are ‘bubbled’, and backstage the theatre is zoned to keep performers, crew and audiences safe.
Additional cleaning measures have been in place since the theatres reopened.
Note: Covid passports are not required as the updated measures currently only apply to unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people.
Norwich Playhouse is located on St. Georges Street right by the River Wensum. It’s about a 15-minute walk from the Norwich Train Station. If you are driving, the closest car park is either St. Andrews or Monastery Court.