Stirling’s spin on ‘Robin Hood’ tale

OVER the years, Stirling High has become well-known for their quality plays and musicals.

So get ready to be completely awestruck yet again by Stirling’s The Heart of Robin Hood.

Inspired by the department of drama head, (HoD) Marc Williams’s visit to watch the play at the Royal Shakespearean Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Stirling’s version follows a different path of the beloved tale. “I was starstruck by the production. It was absolutely magical, the set was mind-blowing and extremely realistic,” Williams said of his Stratford visit.

In an attempt to take the magic he experienced in Shakespeare’s hometown back to his alma mater, Williams endeavoured to recreate the acts and produce the play as Stirling’s 2017 production.

The play is written by Royal Shakespearean Company, playwright and associate director, David Farr.

Farr has taken the traditional, beloved tale of Robin Hood and offered a different – and dynamic – perspective on our favourite childhood thief.

“What makes the play so wonderful is that it is still very relatable, audiences will remember reading or watching the tale of Robin Hood, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor and, hopefully, be as intrigued as I was with Farr’s spin on the story,” Williams said.

The most notable change to the original tale, is that the entire story is told through heroine, Marion’s eyes.

Stirling High’s top drama student, Laura-Jean Runchman (Grade 12), plays the role of Marion. The addition of the very pantomime-like, witty and flamboyant character, Pierre, adds some comic relief. Played by Grade 11 pupil, Daniel Anderson, Pierre, connects with the audience and offers witty jokes throughout the play.

STAGE ACT: Stirling High School pupils, Laura-Jean Runchman (who plays Lady Marion), Daniel Anderson (Pierre) and Ethan Petzer (Robin Hood), rehearse a scene from ‘The Heart of Robin Hood’ in preparation for the play Picture: MADELEINE CHAPUT

“These kids are amazing, sometimes I forget that they are kids because they have approached this production with a real sense of professionalism. “It is something I always try to instill in my students, but their talent and love for what they do is not something that can be taught,” Williams said.

“I really love my job and seeing these talented students excel in a play like this one, is very rewarding.”

Williams and his team of actors, teachers, backstage crew and decorators have been hard at work in preparation to “move into Sherwood Forest”.

“This has been a huge project for the school and it has been a massive collaboration of so many different departments in order to make it a reality. The whole school has been involved and we’ve had help and support from so many teachers, parents and students,” Williams said.

“We’ve treated the set like a character on its own, because in order to create the scenes and different locations, we’ve had to manoeuvre and manipulate decorations and backdrops very precisely,” he said.

The show promises to be a spectacular retelling of the classic love story between the hoodlum, Robin Hood, played by Ethan Petzer, and Lady Marion.

“We hope to take the audience on a journey, through which they can imagine and believe in the story we tell them,” Williams said.

The show runs from Tuesday, to next Saturday in the Stirling High School hall. Tickets are R50 for pensioners and scholars and R80 for adults, available from the school’s office.

All the performances start at 7pm and there will be a matinee performance on Saturday at 2pm.

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