Inspired by one of the most legendary heroes of all time, Robin Good: The Politico-Panto is panto’s sassy, smart-mouthed and irreverent cousin, providing sharp-witted satire this Christmas, playing at Norwich Theatre Playhouse from Wednesday 8 to Sunday 19 December 2021.
It will be brought to life by Norwich Theatre’s in-house production team, who are also behind the much-loved Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime. Directed by Chris Cuming and written by award-winning Norfolk playwright and Norwich Theatre Associate Artist James McDermott (Rubber Ring, CAMP, Time and Tide), Robin Good is Norwich Theatre Playhouse’s second in-house Christmas production after its sell-out run of A Circus Carol in 2019.
Expect much local humour and satirical references as our hero tries to stop Norfolk becoming a playground for the super-rich. It features a brand new musical score from an exciting young composer and arranger, Max Gallagher plus an ensemble cast of brilliant actor-musicians who will play a huge range of different instruments live throughout the show.
Local talent Will Arundell will play Barry, The Sheriff of Norwich. Will is from Norwich, and eager to be returning to Norwich Theatre: “I’m so excited to be in Robin Good. I’ve been very lucky that I’ve had a varied career since graduating, but a lot of shows I do are incredibly serious – I usually end up playing murderers or psychopaths. It’s really exciting to be going into something which is pure silliness. Although the show has a political message, at its heart it’s a panto. And playing the baddy is the best role! This show is a chance to see something different this Christmas – it truly is panto turned on its head. A chance to see four people playing every role in a panto and practically every instrument there is too!”
Robin Good, our young queer socialist vegan social media influencer hero, will be played by Richard Upton. Prior to lockdown, Richard toured Australia and New Zealand performing the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. He also played the role of Harry Sparrow in the musical ‘BRASS’.
The role of Marion will be played by Aveen Biddle. Her theatre credits include Kinky Boots, the UK tour of Pinocchio, and the China tour of Titanic Dance. Aveen’s TV credits include two BBC productions: Spill it and In Cold Blood. Film credits include Five Minutes of Heaven (Big Fish Films).
Mike Lloyd will be taking on the dame role, as Dame Stratton Strawless. He has West End experience as High Pockets Duncan in Buddy and has toured the UK with This is Elvis, Saturday Night Fever, Dreamboats and Petticoats, and Return to the Forbidden Planet.
Robin Good is produced by the strong in-house creative team led by Creative Director Stephen Crocker with Creative Programmes Director Wendy Ellis acting as Producer and Technical Director.
Stephen Crocker, Norwich Theatre Chief Executive & Creative Director, said: “We create our Playhouse Christmas show to sit alongside our traditional Theatre Royal Pantomime as we love seeing how so many people plan a festive trip to the theatre as a special moment to come together with loved ones at Christmas. I believe that providing the widest range of opportunities for people of all ages to be together and enjoy brilliant entertainment could not be more important this Christmas.
“I am so excited about bringing this show – our ‘politico-Panto’ – to life with such an exhilarating group of creatives and providing a fresh, new and different source of festive fun and laughter. It is cheeky, irreverent and sharp-witted. It’s Panto, but not as you know it!”
Chris Cuming, Robin Good Director & Choreographer, said: “I’m thrilled to be working with Norwich Theatre on this very special ‘politico-panto’. Robin Good is a celebration of society and how it’s changing and becoming more open to different ways of looking at things. The show will have all the traditional panto elements; it will be fun, magical and sparkling but it will also encourage the audience to have a conversation. People will leave laughing and feeling festive, but also thinking.”
The show promises an uplifting Christmas experience, celebrating diversity, community and the enduring triumph of right over wrong.