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Merry Maid Marion in Door County

Jul. 11, 2017
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heartofrobinhoodlenvillano
Photo credit: Len Villano

David Farr’s The Heart of Robin Hood finds a suitably sylvan home this summer as Door Shakespeare brings it to an outdoor stage in Sister Bay. The Farr adaptation of the ancient legend is only just over half a decade old. Though the thief’s name is firmly planted in the title, Farr focuses on Maid Marion as action heroine.

Taylor Harvey is charismatic in the role of a woman languishing in castle walls as her father is away fighting the Crusades. There is great injustice in England that she wants to combat, but she is unable to do so in her role as daughter of nobility. Harvey’s wild-eyed, silent expressiveness serves to amplify the character’s sense of compassion and adventure. She has an earnest sense of compassion and aggression in the role that keeps her performance authentic—even when Farr’s dialogue feels a bit awkwardly amplified for the sake of the action.

Torsten Johnson is playfully super-heroic in the role of Robin Hood. As the play opens, he and his men steal from the rich to distance themselves from an unjust society. Marion’s compassion initially clashes with his desire to keep out of the affairs of others, but the story’s events gradually bring them together in a satisfying reframing of the traditional legend.

The flow of action occasionally falters, but the whole of the ensemble is sharp enough to keep the rhythm of everything rolling on pace. The cast balances out around the edges quite nicely. Demetrios Troy is sinister as Prince John, who looks to wrest political control from Marion’s father while he is away. Mark Corkins compellingly transforms from foppish aristocrat to adventure hero as Marion’s friend, Pierre.

The Heart of Robin Hood runs in rotation with Twelfth Night through Aug. 19 at Björklunden in Sister Bay. For tickets, call 920-839-1500 or visit doorshakespeare.com.

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