Robin Hood at The Mayflower Southampton

This year I have been in Panto heaven with not one, not two but three pantomimes to see.

My first was Cinderella at the Pavilion, Bournemouth, the second was Aladdin at Lighthouse, Poole and on Christmas Eve, Hubby surprised us with tickets to watch Robin Hood at the Mayflower.

We love our local productions, but there is something special about the Mayflower as it seats 55,000 people and always does West End quality productions.

This year the Panto stars were Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace (Alfie and Kat from Eastenders) and Jeffrey Holland of Hi-De-Hi fame as the Dame.

It was a full house in the theatre and the atmosphere was electric as we joined the legendary Robin Hood as he tried to win the hand of the beautiful Maid Marion, whilst he and his trusty band of Merry Men outwit the evil Sheriff of Nottingham.

Robin Hood

Shane Richie is perfectly cast in the lead role and had the audience in stitches throughout the show with plenty of jokes, in fact I am not sure where the script ended and the ad-libbing began and Isaac was a little concerned that he had actually broken the set at one point.

With Jesse Wallace as Maid Marian there were plenty of Eastenders references, but not so many that it would spoil a non-fans enjoyment of the pantomime and the Acromaniacs as Robin Hood’s merry men, pulled off breathtaking acrobatic stunts.

The comedy continued with the Dame -Hi-De-Hi star Jeffrey Holland and comical Friar Tuck, Peter Piper and the kids favourite part had to be them playing bongos on their body parts and being captured by a giant Gorilla.

There were magical moments aplenty from Merlin with fireworks, giant glitter balls, disappearing doves and even Ghostbusters.

Dinosaur mad Sebastian was over the moon at an appearance of a giant T-Rex at the end of the first half, but the 3D experience in the second half was too much for him and we had to take the poor thing out who was howling in fright. The premise was that Robin Hood had to rescue Maid Marion from the Forbidden Forest and we had to put on our 3D glasses, but it was a terrifying show of spiders, snakes and scary creatures leaping out at you. Eliza buried her head in the chair and Isaac refused to watch too which spoiled it a little for us.

Thankfully the 3D part was just 10 minutes long and it went back to the slapstick comedy that a panto should be and of course Robin saved the day and rescued Maid Marion from the evil Sheriff of Nottingham.

The pantomime was packed full of comedy, action, adventure with plenty of glitz and glamour, but they didn’t need the 3D section as it spoiled it for us.

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