St Vincent’s Panto Players recently presented their twenty-sixth pantomime, Robin Hood and the Magna Carta, at St Vincent’s Church, Crookes, Sheffield. This unique theatrical experience marked the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, but apart from that it has to be acknowledged that the story line did play rather fast and loose with historical facts.
Robin Hood and his merry men were pitted against Prince John, the Sheriff of Hallam and their cronies (Boo!) in their attempt to get the Prince to sign the Magna Carta granting rights and freedoms to the people. A wide variety of characters appeared along the way, including Doctor Who and a reformed Dalek, Little Red Riding Hood, Elsa and Olaf from Frozen, Gandalf and Bilbo from the Hobbit, and King Richard. Chaos ensued, the Sherwood Forest creatures sang a song, an audience member received the traditional custard pie, all accompanied by jokes that must have been even older than the Magna Carta, before it all ended happily ever after.
The ‘Charlie Gardiner Award’ for loyal service to the pantomime, created in honour of a former parish priest, went this year to Louise Finnigan who has been involved since the first year. £1600 was raised, to be split between the St Justin Society and Fr Peter Shekelton.