Maid Marian and Her Merry Men | Stage adaptation of Tony Robinson’s sitcom premiering this year

Maid Marian and Her Merry Men stage poster
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Tony Robinson’s much loved 1990s CBBC sitcom Maid Marian And Her Merry Men is heading to the stage this year, here are the details.

Though Tony Robinson is best known as dim-witted servant Baldrick alongside Rowan Atkinson across several iterations of Blackadder, to a certain generation he is creator, writer as well as playing the role of the Sherrif of Nottingham in Maid Marian and Her Merry Men. A classic show, which ran for four series on the BBC from 1989 to 1994.

For kids TV trivia fans, it is thanks to Maid Marian that Russell T Davies got his start in writing television drama.

Funding and studio time was booked for Maid Marian in 1991, but it was put on hiatus. Davies submitted his script for children’s sci-fi serial Dark Season to both the Head of CBBC and to Granada. Both were interested, but CBBC’s offer was better, Maid Marian's budget and timeslot was allocated to the show. It would be Kate Winslet’s first ever acting role.

Maid Marian has the titular character as the hero, played by Kate Lonergan, with Robin Hood, portrayed by Wayne Morris, as an incompetent ex-tailor.

Red Dwarf star Danny John Jules took on the role of the affable Rasta Merry Man Barrington, while Mike Edmonds played Little Ron They battled against Robinson’s deliciously evil Sherrif, King John, played by Forbes Collins and Rabies, played by Howard Lew Lewis.

It is fondly remembered for Robinson’s strong comedy writing – early script editing work was done by Richard Curtis – and its refusal to talk down toits young audience, becoming just as popular with adults.

The show often enters the cultural conversation on Pancake Day, due to Barrington’s catchy rap about the subject in one episode.

According to the British Comedy Guide, the show is now being adapted for the stage with the book, music and lyrics written by comedian and playwright Vikki Stone. Benji Sperring will direct.

Stone said “I cannot tell you how delighted I am to be writing Maid Marian. It was one of my absolute favourite kids TV shows in the 90s, and I couldn’t be more excited to be working with comedy legend Sir Tony Robinson on this wonderful show.”

A workshop is due to take place at the Soho Theatre on the 25th January. It will see Stone play The Sheriff of Nottingham, Bronté Barbé as Maid Marian, Nick Helm as King John, and Marek Larwood as Rabies.

The cast will also feature Myles Miller as Robin Hood, Damien James as Barrington, Marc Pickering as Little Ron, Michelle Bishop as Gary and Natasha Lewis as Graham.

Further news about a UK premiere will follow in due course. In the meantime, the boxset of Maid Marian and Her Merry Men is available on DVD.

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