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Monday, November 29, 2010


( Pic by Illa Thompson. There are two pairs of “Babes”. In blue: Andrew Sutton (9) from Mount Edgecombe and Kiara Teunissen (9) from Westbrook. In red: Josh Arnold (12) from Umbilo and Lindsey Morris (11) from Westville)

KickstArt’s Christmas panto, which has become a fast tradition in Durban, will be the delightful Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood. It will be staged at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre to run over the festive season.

It’s panto time again, and what could be more fun than a romp through Sherwood Forest with the dashing Robin Hood and his Merry Men? This journey through the enchanted forests and castles of Medieval England guarantees to thrill and delight audiences of all ages with dragons, forest creatures, transformations, battles and dances, and the fun of familiar songs and witty jokes.

The plot combines elements of babes lost in the forest story based on an old English ballad of 1595 (the original manuscript is preserved in the British Museum), it tells the story of two orphaned children, abandoned deep in the forest upon the orders of their wicked Uncle. This tale is combined with the Robin Hood legend and a huge dollop of comedy in the form of Robin Hood's motley crew of merry men in tights, a really villainous sheriff and an unforgettable dame. Exactly how Robin Hood came to be connected to the story of “The Babes” remains uncertain, but it makes for a great story full of fun and frolic. The fairytale magic essential for a pantomime comes from two figures from the Arthurian Legend, in the fabulous personas of Merlin the Magician and the evil enchantress, Morgan le Fey.

For the magical new KickstArt 2010 version, Steven Stead has masterfully combined the original concept with some fresh ideas and is inspired and influenced by the visionary work of Durban’s master of pantomime, the late John Moss and his watershed NAPAC version.

Produced by KickstArt, the production is directed by Steven Stead and designed by Greg King with lighting design by Tina le Roux. It features Lyle Buxton; Darren King; Londiwe Dhlomo; Peter Court; Bryan Hiles; Ewok; Liesl Coppin and Farai Gwaze.

Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood runs from December 10 until January 9 at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre with performances from Tuesday to Sunday at 14h30 and evening performances on Friday and Saturday at 19h00. There will be no show on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Years Day. Tickets R130 (R100 children under 12/pensioners/students) Booking is through Computicket. For more information about KickstArt and their productions, visit

KickstArt is grateful to the National Arts Council for their support.