Michael Charrois as Jack Pudding in “The Silly Adventures of Robin Hood,” produced for the stage by Merrie-Makers Travelling Players. (submitted photo)

Michael Charrois as Jack Pudding in “The Silly Adventures of Robin Hood,” produced for the stage by Merrie-Makers Travelling Players. (submitted photo)

‘The Silly Adventures of Robin Hood’ staged at Surrey park in Summer POP! series

Show times at Glades Garden are Aug. 12-14; tickets available online and by phone

South Surrey’s Glades Woodland Garden is where The Silly Adventures of Robin Hood happen from Aug. 12 to 14.

The all-ages, one-hour theatre show is brought to the stage by Langley-based duo Ellie and Geoff King.

The Merrie-Makers Travelling Players rendition of the fairy-tale character is part of the Summer POP! series of outdoor performances in Surrey parks, with tickets available on surrey.ca or by calling 604-501-5566.

It’s the legend of Robin Hood as told by a lively, exuberant troupe of players, Ellie said.

“Music, silly jokes, sword fight, and – of course – an archery competition make this a sparkling, colourful family-friendly must-see for those of us looking for something to lift our spirits after the grey of the last 18 months,” she said.

Show times at Glades Garden are Aug. 12, 13 and 14 at 7 p.m., plus a 3 p.m. matinee on Aug. 14.

Earlier this summer, The Silly Adventures of Robin Hood played Langley’s Fraser Valley Cidery on the weekend of July 17-18.

Calling the undertaking a fun project with friends, Ellie said they’re squeezing this show in before Whalley-based Royal Canadian Theatre Company (her employers/and the show’s main sponsor) begins its first full season since COVID.

Merrie-Makers is what Ellie describes as an ad-hoc group of actors and “theatre creatives” working under the terms of the Actors’ Equity Collective Agreement to make “fun theatre.”

“Our goal is to entertain families with a fun, innovative new theatre production. The story is based on a medieval form of theatre known as commedia dell’arte. Troops of players would travel from town to town bringing the same basic characters and improvising or using loosely scripted plays to tell their stories. The emphasis was on comedy as is ours,” explained Merrie-Makers’ founder.

In rehearsals since the beginning of July, The Silly Adventures of Robin Hood stars Reece Presley as Robin Hood, Pamela Carolina Martinez is Maid Marion, Michael Charrois is Jack Pudding, Megan Carty is Tallie Longbottom, John Cousins is Sheriff Poltroon, and Roger Monk plays Lord Knickerbocker.

In addition to the cast, the crew is made up of Ellie King as writer and director, and Geoff Knight as music director and sound designer. Claire Carolan is in charge of set design, while Kerri Norris is responsible for costume design and Stephen Elcheshen has overseen fight direction.

This production is appropriate for families, Ellie noted.

“British panto and the puppet show Punch and Judy are based on commedia, and Shakespeare himself would have been very familiar with it, as would Moliere. Commedia also heavily continues to influence physical comedy, and can be seen to great effect in the silent movies of Laurel and Hardy and so on, right up to modern-day Jim Carrey,” she explained.

with file from Roxanne Hooper

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