For Geordie Theatre’s 38th annual fundraiser gala, they are putting their own twist on the classic tale of Robin Hood.
Trevor Botkin, who plays Robin Hood, says their take is “closer to a Monty Python take of Robin Hood,” and audience participation plays a big role this year.
In the show, there are three different Robin Hoods. Botkin plays the more principal Robin Hood, the next one is “a bit of a lovelorn fool,” and the third Robin Hood is when the Sheriff of Nottingham played by Hon. Pepita G. Capriolo gets to tell her own version to the audience.
In the Sheriff’s version, audiences “see an idiot Robin,” he says, which Capriolo jokes “is much closer to the truth.”
The reason behind three versions of Robin Hood is because the show is titled The Trials of Robin Hood.
“The first version is how Robin Hood or how my version is carried out and then the king asks for the other two versions,” Botkin says.
In the end, it is all up to the audience to decide which of the three versions they believe.
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Capriolo says the interactive show is a show for the family. “It’s very, very funny, you can’t stop laughing and there’s a lot of slapstick and a lot of physical fun.”
Not only is the show appropriate for children but it also offers the chance to give back to Geordie Theatre, one of Canada’s largest children’s theatre programs.
The Geordie Theatre professionals take their performance on the road when they tour the schools. Botkin says the group travels 35,000 kilometres a year which reaches about 40,000 kids.
In turn, he sees it as their “opportunity to give back to Geordie Theatre to raise money so that they can carry out what they’re doing, which is really important to bring art and culture to these kids.”
The travelling plays illustrate real-life challenges such as immigration, income equality and fears of violence in schools. “These are topics frankly no one else is bringing up at that level for children,” Botkin says. “It’s really good to have these dialogues and certain discussions that they’re having within these theatre programs are very timely.”
The fundraising gala is volunteer-based, with actors who are some of Montreal’s most prominent community leaders in law, business, education and medicine.
Capriolo is a Justice of Superior Court by day and Botkin works with business executives.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to enjoy a professional production,” Capriolo says. “We are amateurs, we love the theatre but we have really terrific professionals surrounding us so the actual outcome is a real play.”
The Trials of Robin Hood is running this weekend on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. All three shows are at the D.B. Clarke Theatre at 1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. in Montreal.