ROBIN Hood will be setting up camp in Lancaster’s Williamson Park next summer when The Dukes return with their acclaimed outdoor walkabout theatre season.
The most famous outlaw of all time and his Merry Men will be swapping Sherwood Forest for Lancaster’s premier park from July 5 until August 10, 2013.
Dukes director, Joe Sumsion said: “Williamson Park is the perfect setting for Robin Hood because it has the two essentials for the story – fantastic woods and, in the Ashton Memorial, a very grand castle indeed.
“The park is looking better than ever – work that the city council has done recently has opened up spaces that people will see afresh during our production which will be full of fun, adventure and lots of humour.”
There will be strong community involvement in the show and opportunities for the audience to be part of the unfolding drama.
The Dukes version of Robin Hood will be written by Kevin Dyer who has been nominated for the Writers Guild of Great Britain Best Theatre Play Award for Merlin and The Legend of King Arthur which the Lancaster theatre produced outdoors in 2011 – to celebrate 25 years of promenade shows.
“We want to make a show that clearly connects with Merlin because almost 18,000 people saw that production and loved it,” said Joe.
Since 1987, The Dukes have built up a reputation for outdoor walkabout theatre productions which became the largest of their kind in the UK.
A version of Robin Hood was last produced by The Dukes outdoors in 1993.
The Dukes took a break from its park productions this year while it staged and toured its homegrown Lancashire witches drama – Sabbat – to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the witch trials in the city.
Financial challenges also played their part in the decision not to present a park show this summer but overwhelming support ensured their return in 2013.
The Dukes, which is a registered charity, receives core funding from the Arts Council England, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council. Over recent years, The Dukes has significantly increased its earned income and support from corporate sponsorship and its Friends scheme and aims to build and develop on this success.
Tickets for Robin Hood are now on sale with very early bird discounts offering a saving of £3 per ticket on bookings made before the end of January. Children’s tickets have been frozen at 2011 prices. For booking information ring the box office on (01524) 598500 or visit www.dukes-lancaster.org.