Robin Hood in Queen Elizabeth Park

We never seem to have much time for entertainment these days, but since coming to Vancouver, BC we have become fans of a local troupe of radical actors. The last play we saw was Death of a Clown by Sebastien Archibald. This was actually our first time at Queen Elizabeth park which was a treat in and of itself. We climbed through the park to the top of the large hill, through lovely gardens and past a Cambodian picnic with traditional music and dancing to boot. The view over Vancouver is fantastic, what a perfect spot for this modern version of Robin Hood, also written by Sebastien Archibald.

ITSAZOO Productions has been doing plays in this park for the past few years, and I had heard about the Canturbury Tales they had done last year. I wasn’t sure about how it would all work out as I can’t say I have ever chased a bunch of actors around a city park before, but the team knew what they were doing, and the whole thing went very smoothly.

The crowd started gathering about 6:45 and at 7:00 the bard began to play and let us know that when he played we were to take that as our key to move to the next location, he also pointed out a couple of ushers who would let us know where to stand or sit to get the best view of the performance. It was quite simple to follow and there was generally plenty of room to get a view. There were more than 50 people there, and a couple of them even brought their own folding chairs, which was actually a really good idea.

This modern version of Robin Hood highlighted the insane amounts of money spent on the two week party Vancouver put on for the world earlier this year with the Olympics. The unique setting of the hills, duck pond and trails of Queen Elizabeth park were the perfect backdrop. Some of my favorite scenes included the race to max out credit cards the fastest, the tent city set up under the trees. My favorite character by far was the Chief Gisborne (Julia Church) and her gang of pigs, frankly they terrified me, right from the start when I pulled out my camera, they let me know who was in charge (the masks are fantastic).

I highly recommend seeing this play for yourselves if you have the chance. It is affordable at $17 a ticket, in fact I think they could be charging a little more, but with the changes to the GST they are actually taking in less than originally when the tickets were $15. I do appreciate that they keep it affordable, though. They also said they were going to add in some more acts as well.

On the whole it was an original experience and a great way to spend a Friday night, the play ended on the top of the hill with the sun setting over the city of Vancouver. I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it already.

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