The stage is set. The house lights dim and the spotlight shines on a single character. There isn’t one sound in the auditorium except her voice. She’s dressed in royal purple medieval garments as the “Town’s Gal.” And the story begins to unfold.
Opening weekend for “The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood” by contemporary playwright Mary Lynn Dobson pulled in an enthusiastic crowd of theatre-goers. The Quince Orchard High School theatre group will take to the QO stage for a second weekend on Nov. 16 with performances at 2 and 7 p.m.
The story of Robin Hood is set in medieval times. It follows protagonist Robin Hood of Locksley, a heroic outlaw who befriends a band of merry men in the woods where they begin to take on the suffering of the poor as their responsibility. They believe that the rich don’t deserve all the money they have—since they obtained it in a morally corrupt way—and it should be given to those who need and deserve it. While standing up for the poor, Robin Hood meets his love, Lady Marian. Robin Hood spends a good amount of the show trying to win her hand in marriage.
This show, though, isn’t exactly the most conventional story of Robin Hood (hence the “somewhat true tale”). From the first scene, the characters step right out of their “world” and speak directly to the audience. This transforms the whole show: One moment you think you’re watching a play and the next you feel like you’re living it.
The sarcasm and satire used by every character creates a “Monty Python, sarcastic and stupid-funny (atmosphere),” explained Leona Ripple, who plays Lady Marian. Each character manages to use their own pain and annoyance with others as a punchline for a sarcastic joke, and this keeps the audience giggling throughout the whole performance.
In most shows, the leads are the most important characters; they tie everything together and without them the show wouldn’t work at all. This holds true for “The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood,” but the same goes for the supporting characters. Their humor—whether it’s from the ditzy fawning ladies, played by Fiona Bradform, Serena Mao, Grace Milla and Laurel Snow, who remind us of our middle school days; the childishly innocent merry men, played by Felix Angelastro (Will), Ela Green (Allan), Cora Barr (Little John), Jesse Downey, Paris Hamilton, Hedieh Hajiesmaeili, Jack Livingston and Danny Zheng, who bring us back to Saturday morning cartoons in our pajamas; or the bitter lady in waiting, played by Elisa McCaw, who is the embodiment of our everyday mood about work and school—is a necessary piece to the puzzle of this production.
In the end, this medieval tale still speaks to our 21st-century world. As the director of the play, Jessica Vogel, said, “I think anybody can relate to fighting for what’s right, fighting for what you believe in and good overcoming evil. … And everyone can root for love.”
This story is one that has lasted for generations because the meaning behind it is timeless: “Good will always triumph over evil,” as Ripple said. So mark your calendars for Saturday, Nov. 16 to watch “The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood” at the Quince Orchard High School Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students, children and senior citizens.