After missing a year, the annual Dukes outdoor production returns to the city’s Williamson Park next Friday, with a new adaptation of Robin Hood.
Financial constraints forced the venue to stay indoors last year, touring its production of Sabbat instead, marking the 400th anniversary of the Lancashire Witches Trial.
A hero who robs the rich and gives to the poor seems a timely production with which to re-launch the event.
This new adaptation is by Kevin Dyer, winner of the 2010 Writers Guild of Great Britain Award for Best Play for Children and Young People, and associate artist of The Dukes.
As always it will be performed at different locations in the Edwardian Williamson Park, including its centrepiece, the Ashton Memorial, once described as the grandest monument in England.
Dukes director Joe Sumsion said: “Audiences will be attracted by the traditional story but will expect us to give it a bit of a shake and plenty of surprises – and that’s what we’ll deliver.”
The Dukes first outdoor promenade production in 1987 was A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Among the cast was award-winning actor Andy Serkis.
This year, playing the lead role of Robin Hood will be Noel White who was Lancelot in Merlin & The Legend of King Arthur and Heracles in the 2009 production of Jason and The Argonauts.
And joining the professional cast will be a community company including youngsters who’ll play Little John’s children and adults in the roles of Robin and Marion’s followers.
In their 25 years of production the Dukes has established a national reputation for producing outdoor theatre which has attracted almost 500,000 people in total, making its outdoor walkabout productions the largest in the UK. Box office: 01524 598500 or www.dukes-lancaster.org