REVIEW: HOOD – THE SCRIBE OF SHERWOOD / AUTHOR: IAIN MEADOWS / DIRECTOR: IAIN MEADOWS / COMPOSER: SAMUEL PEGG / PUBLISHER: SPITEFUL PUPPET / STARRING: LEE INGLEBY, PETER GREENALL, SARAH MCKENDRICK, BILLY MILLER / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Spiteful Puppet’s re-imagining of the Robin Hood myth is one of the most interesting versions of the tale to come out recently. It’s a nice blend of the old and familiar Sherwood tropes, mixing the reality of medieval life with modern cynicism to create somthinge new and different. The first part of this series, Noble Secrets introduced the basic premise and most of the the key characters. This latest instalment, The Scribe of Sherwood, brings bard and storyteller Alan-A-Dale into the mix and delves further into the backstories behind Will Scarlett, Little John and the Sheriff.
The disc is split into two short dramas: one is a tale told by the outlaws, the other by the forces of law and order. This being the world of Hood, nothing is quite as clear cut as it sounds, all of the narrators in this world are as unreliable as they are deadly. Peter Greenall puts in a strong performance as the earnest Little John and Damian Cooper’s Will Scarlett adds a touch of menace to the performance, making the pair an interesting double act.
Lee Ingleby is on top form as Phillip De Nicholay, the Sheriff of Nottingham. If you enjoyed the previous instalment, then you may think that this paragon of justice has no more surprises left, but you’d be very wrong. Iain Meadows has created a very intricate world filled with complex motivations and there are many, many more surprises to be had with this series. It is a little limited by time, however; they’ve squeezed two half-hour stories on to one disc here and this means it lacks the epic scope of the previous story.
Hood – The Scribe of Sherwood moves the story on slowly and though it’s fairly light on action in places, it’s filled to the brim with intrigue, leaving the listener eager for more stories from other key characters - Loxley especially. It is a well-produced and clever audio drama and we keenly anticipate the next instalment.