Queen's Hall, Hexham
There can be no more of an ensemble piece than an Oddsocks Production. The cast play multiple characters, musical instruments, sing and even build the scenery and it all works beautifully. So the tour of The Adventures of Robin Hood is a much see as it tours the area.
The cast initially wander through the auditorium meeting and greeting the audience, always in a non-threatening way, before starting a collective singsong. This sets the tone for the performance and before you know it everyone is rolling around laughing their (matching) socks off at the on stage antics.
We follow the story of Robin Hood saving the villagers from the evil Sherriff with tears in our eyes as the cast hit the comedy note perfectly. The small cast of five play all the characters with cast member Andy Barrow (playing four parts) also writes the story, designs the set and directs.
It is certainly not high tech, with the set being on a wheeled base so it can turn around and allow for the addition and subtraction of various bits of scenery. The whole thing appears to be a bit precarious as the sides foldout and it wobbles more and more, but it only adds to the enjoyment.
Topical references are thrown in and the audience is so relaxed adlibs are thrown back at the stage which the cast bounce off with ease. There were only a couple of small segments where the comedy element dropped but other than that its laughter all the way.
Oddsocks are a revelation and the perfect Christmas treat if you want an alternative to a big glossy panto.