REVIEW: ‘Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood’

Nicky+Taylor+as+Tommy+of+No+Consequence%2C+Katherine+Carr+as+Robin+Hood%2C+Elisha+McNeil+as+Little+John.%0APhotographer+-+Rebecca+Edmonds
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REVIEW: ‘Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood’

Nicky Taylor as Tommy of No Consequence, Katherine Carr as Robin Hood, Elisha McNeil as Little John.
Photographer - Rebecca Edmonds

Nicky Taylor as Tommy of No Consequence, Katherine Carr as Robin Hood, Elisha McNeil as Little John. Photographer - Rebecca Edmonds

Nicky Taylor as Tommy of No Consequence, Katherine Carr as Robin Hood, Elisha McNeil as Little John. Photographer - Rebecca Edmonds

Nicky Taylor as Tommy of No Consequence, Katherine Carr as Robin Hood, Elisha McNeil as Little John. Photographer - Rebecca Edmonds

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“Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood” gives a fresh, new twist on the age-old tale of Robin Hood. Originally written by Adam Szymkowicz and directed by UNC Wilmington’s Robin Post, this contemporary version reveals gender bending Maid Marian as Robin Hood, champion of the poor. She leads her team of Merry Men, or so they say, to fight against the greedy Prince John. Along the way, Marian and her troupe experience ambivalence regarding gender and sexuality and try to find the line between romance and ‘bromance.’

The play’s central theme, gender and sexuality, unveils itself in several different dimensions of varying degrees. Marian showcases that simply acknowledging your sexuality and preferred gender is in many ways an immense personal victory. The Merry Men, traditionally an ultra-masculine, ragtag group of men, defies the norm in this modern version. Several of the Merry Men go through obstacles of defining themselves, where they fall on the sexual spectrum and coping with the reactions of others, especially those they care deeply about. Moreover, Marian shys away from the traditional feminine role and paints herself as a capable leader ready to fight for what she believes is just and true. Young women from all backgrounds can resonate with this sentiment and draw inspiration from Marian’s bravery in a largely patriarchal society.

Katherine Carr, the lead character and protagonist, perfectly embodies Marian’s virtues. Throughout the play, Carr balances both masculine and feminine roles well. Elisha McNeill, who plays Marian’s love interest and right-hand man, Little John, complements Carr exquisitely. His character reflects on how people can gradually become more accepting and understanding of situations they may not necessarily grasp in the beginning.

NaSwana Moon, who plays Alanna Dale, and Amber Wrench, who plays Will Scarlett, both of the Merry Men, provide the audience with romance and excitement. Both performers suit each other well. One can truly see the love they have for each other, both romantic and platonic, when these two performers are on stage. Other characters such as Tommy of No Consequence and Prince John provide comic relief from an otherwise serious theme.

Overall, “Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood,” is a well-done comedic spin on a classic children’s tale that is tailored to reflect the lives of everyday people in this century.

“Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood” will run at 8 p.m. from Thursday through Saturday with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Show dates are Feb. 21 to 24 and Feb. 28 through March 3. Student tickets are $6.