Robin Hood: The Great Escape

Written by:

Andrea Boyd, Laura Teasdale

Cast Size:
20

Roles For:

  • LGBTQ+: 2
  • Men: 4
  • People of Colour: 2
  • Women: 5

Genre:

Comedy

Themes:

Capitalism
Family
Feminism
Government
Inclusion
Justice
Violence

Length:

90 min.

Year Written:

2021

Synopsis:

It’s the day of the famous archery competition, and Robin can’t resist the allure of the prize: A Golden Arrow. But can he outwit the Sheriff of Nottingham? With a gender-swapped cast and surprising cultural twists, this action-adventure romp combines broad humour
with bold ideas.

This modern version of Robin Hood is at once familiar and surprising. The play is a celebration of identity with gender-swapped roles, cultural and sexual diversity, including a title character who is a second-generation immigrant from India, and a queer Will Scarlett. The tone of the play is action-adventure, with plenty of pathos and humour. It was written as a promenade-style production to take place outdoors, but can be done inside a
theatre as well. The interior 5 scenes can be played in any order.

“The co-writers go for a racy and a woke script in broad, comedic strokes with Shakespearean- style sexual innuendo and a contemporary mindset of feminism, inclusion, diversity and non-heterosexual love. The story’s timeless focus on injustice and the iron rule of tyrants echoes Trump and evil lords, past and present.”
-Ellisa Barnard, NS Reviews

Characters:

Robin Hood: A nobleman stripped of all his wealth and lands by the Sheriff. He is loyal to the absent King and strives to right societal wrongs by stealing from the wealthy (especially those under the protection of the Sheriff) and redistributing the wealth to citizens worn down by a corrupt and crippling tax system. His mother is from India. Around 30 years old.

Marian: A renegade in her father’s house. She has been carrying on a secret affair with Robin Hood for years under her father’s nose. She is an excellent archer, helps plan the heists and determines who most needs the money. A free thinker and adventurer who above all does not want to be reined in. She loves Robin with no illusions. Around 30 years old.

Sheriff of Nottingham: Ambitious. He longs for the validation that only wealth and title can give him. He worked hard and brought himself to this elevated position and deserves to reap some rewards. He’s bold and fearless. He thinks of himself as sly, and he is, but his servant is smarter than him. Round 40 years old.

Gisbourn: Right hand woman to the Sheriff. She is his assistant and town executioner. She craves a power which seems almost unattainable to her as a woman in a man’s world. She serves a man who she sees as her inferior as a stepping stone to autonomy. Cold, calculating, lonely. Around 30 years old.

Allana Dale: A bard. She fell in with the gang after Robin Hood saved a loved one, and now she lives with the Merry Men, chronicling their feats and making sure the true stories of Robin Hood become known far and wide despite the Sheriff’s attempts to sully Robin’s name. Around 35 years old.

Friar Tuck: A Buddhist monk from Sumatra, driven to fight against what he deeply believes to be wrong. Sometimes he has to sin to lead others to salvation. He’s positive, thoughtful and able to help the rest of the Merry Men through difficult times and decisions. Around 25 years old.

Will Scarlett: The finest swordsman in the county. His fighting is refined, careful and elegant. His approach is always diplomatic. He can sweet talk anyone and is incredibly persuasive. As a queer man, he has found a freedom from social constraints and judgement living in the woods with these bandits and would happily live with the bounty on his head forever to stay with this family of misfits. Around 30 years old.

L’il Joan: A true warrior. All guts and glory, but with no refinement. A bit of a berserker. Her special skills include staff fighting and brute strength. L’il Joan was first to join the Merry Men and she acts like it. Teaches fighting and strategy to the gang. A bit bossy, but loves her posse. Around 45 years old.

Midge: A former mid-wife and poisoner. She brings to the group her skills in hand-to-hand combat, knowledge of the forest’s gifts and dangers, and her huge heart. Unusual, brave and fiercely loyal to her family of friends. Around 50 years old.

The King: Richard the Lionheart comes in disguise to test Robin Hood find out for himself. Regal, entitled, religious. But he is a stranger in his own country and doesn’t know who to trust. Around 6o years old.

First Produced:

First produced by Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre, 2021

Resources:

Robin Hood: The Great Escape can be found at the Canadian Play Outlet.