GOING ONE STEP BEYOND THEATRE GREATNESS
Let it be said that the city’s premier online theatre magazine has long been a supporter of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Partly to make Wall Street investment bankers pay for its sins when it pushed the world’s financial markets to the brink of destruction in 2008 but also because we just like to see the less fortunate have nice stuff.
The heroically chic and combat crazed staging strays from the iconic narrative for a humorous look at that which all men inevitably surrender to peacefully—love. The show comes armed with plenty of musical gems thanks to roots rockers Parsonfield whose spirit lifting contemporary score gives the presentation immeasurable hipster appeal.
Make no mistake, you’re going to love this band of hard bodied merry men who–with percision cues—slide down sloping walls, descend from ropes high above the stage and disappear from plain sight when the moment calls to do so.
Playwright David Farr gets the idea that some classics need to be reimagined in order to connect with contemporary audiences. Director Gisli Orn Gardarsson takes no prisoners with a fast moving forest frenzy that’s opulently adventurous, aggressively amusing, mildly barbaric (just wait until the human puppet scene), and a total treat to watch.
That’s because The Heart of Robin Hood feels like a live motion picture more so than a theatre event cashing in on 16th century legend. In short, this could very well turn out to be the best time you’ve ever had in the theatre.
Not enough can be said about Gabriel Ebert’s clever portrayal of Robin and Iszzie Steele’s pluckish Marian. Never does their unspoken attraction to one another wear thin and gosh darn it you’re desperately hoping the two hit if off before Euan Morton’s vivaciously villainous Prince John has his filthy way with her.
The greatest swindle facing playgoers is that this action steeped event isn’t staying in the city longer. Not only does an event like this deserves an unlimited engagement, it’s the only true reforestation solution for Toronto’s green loyalists.
Review by Jordan Allystair
THE HEART OF ROBIN HOOD by David Farr, songs by Parsonsfield Dec. 23, 2015 – March 29, 2016 ROYAL ALEXANDRA THEATRE, 243 King Street, Toronto TICKETS $29.00 – $119.00 www.mirvish.com 416-872-1212 CAST Gabriel Ebert, Izzie Steele, Euan Morton, Anna Bartlam, Amariah Faulkner, Richard Clarkin, Jeremy Crawford, Zachery Eisenstat, Paul Essiembre, Troy Feldman, Marc Selby, Martin Julien, Carson Reaume, Tate Yap, Katelyn McCulloch, Sarah Schenkkan, Stephen Michael Spencer, and Darcy Stewart DIRECTOR Gisli Orn Gardarsson SET Borkur Jonsson COSTUMES Emma Ryott LIGHTING Ken Billington & Graeme S. Thomson SOUND Jonathan Deans & Garth Helm