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ROBIN HOOD IS DEFINITELY NOT LOST IN THE FOREST (article first published : 2007-12-26)

Sir

The critique by your esteemed theatre reviewer, Colin Roopnarain, refers. In the December 9 edition of your paper, he expressed strong views on the adult pantomime, Robin Hood, playing at the Seabrooke Theatre until 31 December, with bookings on 074 1906 239.

He was of the opinion that the production had very little to recommend it. Whilst I am perfectly aware that he is entitled to his opinion, several points interested me particularly. Firstly, all other KZN reviewers gave the production glowing critiques. Refer if you wish to Billy Suter's review in The Mercury, Emma Nicholson in The Daily News, Caroline Smart on www.artsmart.co.za as well as in The Witness and Damon Beard on East Coast Radio. Secondly, and by Roopnarain's own admission, he was apparently the only person in the audience who was not enjoying it. Surely, this would make one think that the fault lay with oneself rather than the show? Thirdly, his complaints that the plot was unresolved and that the lyrics did not blend into the plot suggest a total lack of concentration. Fourthly, his statement that parts of it were "sad, tired and all too familiar" suggests a total lack of comprehension of the nature of the genre. Pantomime is a formula. If one does not stick to the formula, one does not have a pantomime.

As the producer of Robin Hood, this review naturally upset me. However, the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity is true. Damon Beard felt so strongly about Roopnarain's feelings that at 12h25 today (11 December) for 15 minutes he discussed the issue on air, inviting members of the public to phone in with their comments. The radio station was inundated with calls, all positive, and the bookings have gone through the roof.

Three cheers for Roopnarain for providing Damon Beard with the ammunition! Three cheers for Damon Beard for championing the cause!!

Sue Clarence, Sue Clarence Promotions




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