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Robin Hood comes to Bucklesham

PUBLISHED: 19:02 10 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:10 03 March 2010

ROBIN Hood will be ditching Sherwood Forest this year to ride through Bucklesham Village Hall instead.

And Ipswich Speedway ace, Chris Louis has surprisingly shed his leathers for military gear to play a soldier in this colourful panto.

ROBIN Hood will be ditching Sherwood Forest this year to ride through Bucklesham Village Hall instead.

And Ipswich Speedway ace, Chris Louis has surprisingly shed his leathers for military gear to play a soldier in this colourful panto.

The last-minute change to the line-up came as a shock to Chris but secretly he was chuffed to bits to join the cast when someone had to back out.

In the story line, Bucklesham Players will be struggling on with their green tights and fighting against the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham to rescue the babes in the wood.

But for Chris Louis, who has no trouble in combating the opposition on the track, learning lines – or to be more precise, line – brought on the mental blocks as he fluffed his few words at dress rehearsal.

In between rehearsals, the Witches captain confessed that learning his few lines had come hard but he promised to be word perfect by opening night.

"I wouldn't mind about fluffing my words but it was a bit embarrassing because there was only a few.

"And even now I can't remember off the top of my head what they were. But there's still a bit of time and I will be all right on the night. I promise," he said.

As well as the spoken word, he is also trying frantically to learn a couple of songs when he joins others in the cast to sing: Goodnight To You All and Robin Hood's Wedding.

"Learning the songs is good fun too," he said.

Going to Bucklesham Players' panto is a regular outing for Chris, his wife, Julie and their children, Hannah, eight and Freya, five.

"I said I wouldn't mind having a go at it last year then my accident in Poland put paid to a planned appearance. But when someone dropped out, that was it and I was in," he added.

Major players in the panto are Suffolk tennis champion, Peter Mornard will always do his best to appear with the Bucklesham Players, plays Mr Nasty, the Sheriff.

Chairman of the Players, Len Copsey said: "He always comes along and plays one of the main parts.

"He has just the figure for the Sheriff of Nottingham."

As with all pantos the audience will be encouraged to get involved and this time is no exception.

Robin Hood just would not be the same without his band of merry men and mums, dads, grannies and children alike are requested to become the outlaws of the forest.

There will be drama mixed with comedy with Maid Marian (Sarah Raby) making an appearance along with the comic Nurse Norah, played by Ann Ramsey.

The hero Robin Hood, who gets to rescue the babes, is played by Rosemary Watson.

Once again the script is a professional one and has been used at the Theatre Royal, Brighton, The Hackney Empire and The Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne.

But Mr Copsey is adamant that there will be one or two twists and turns in the play where the unexpected happens and the audience is sure to be kept spellbound all the way through.

There are more than 40 people involved in the making of the show and the Bucklesham Players like to make sure that everyone gets given a chance.

Mr Copsey said: "We do auditions but most of the time everyone gets to take part. "We don't like to turn people away."

The cast (including Chris Louis) is now getting its act together ready for curtain up tonight > and the show runs until January 12.

Performances start at 7.30pm with a matinee performance at 2.30pm on Saturday.

For tickets telephone 01473 659619.

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