Promenade play for the community

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Forget Sherwood Forest, in a little under a month’s time Robin Hood, Little John, Friar Tuck, Maid Marian and the Sheriff of Nottingham will take up residence in Todmorden’s Centre Vale Park.

Following on from its hit promenade play Alice in Wonderland two years ago, In The Park Productions return to tell the story of the fabled Hooded Man promising an interactive experience with something to make, do and watch for the whole family.

The show which will move from location to location through the park followed by its audience - who become Robin’s famous Merry Men - is being performed in two blocks through next month - firstly from June 8-10 and the following week from June14-17.

Each performance begins at 5.30pm and tickets cost £11 for adults and £7 for children. They are available from Todmorden Tourist Information Centre on 01706 818181 or on the website

Local schoolchildrenhave been involved in the build up to the event. The magnificent stag in our main picture, which will be used a prop, is the work of children from Ferney Lee Primary School under the professional tutelage of artist and willow weaver Jovanka Gregory from Todmorden art studio Creative With Nature, while pupils from St Joseph’s School made willow arrow quivers.

In the Park Productions is a not for profit company founded by trained actress and former primary school teacher Katrina Heath who now combines her skills to create theatre for families and children. The company creates high quality productions and is run by a steering group of local people.

This year sees the introduction of an easy access performance on June 14 for wheel chair users, families using prams, those with mobility issues and anyone who feels a walk through the woods on steep paths is not for them. It has been funded by the Community Foundation for Calderdale. In addition there will be a number of free tickets for vulnerable families. Check on website.

“We can’t wait to bring Robin to life in the Centre Vale Park woods,” said Katrina. “We are particularly pleased to be presenting an easy access performance so that no one needs be excluded from the event.”

The project is mostly funded by The Arts Council with essential additional funding from Todmorden Ward Forum, Todmorden Town Council and Community Foundation for Calderdale.

Rehearsals are underway and you may spot the cast around town. They are Robin - Michael Justice, Little John - Chris Brett, Marian - Johanna Hinton, Sheriff of Nottingham/ Friar Tuck - Ross McCormack.