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Globe’s New ‘Robin Hood!’ Stages Swordplay In The Round

New swashbuckling play inspired by 1938 Errol Flynn film

Photo caption:

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Fight choreographer Jacob Grigolia-Rosenbaum demonstrates a move as he stages some swordplay in the new Globe production of Ken Ludwig's "Robin Hood!", July 7, 2017.

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Errol Flynn defined the swashbuckling heroics of Robin Hood in the 1938 film "The Adventures of Robin Hood." Now the Old Globe takes inspiration from that movie for its newly commissioned play by Ken Ludwig, "Robin Hood!"

Yes, the exclamation point is part of the title and based on Ludwig's previous work for the Globe, it is likely to be well earned. In 2015 the Globe staged Ludwig's manically entertaining "Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery." That play was also in the round and used a small cast that performed multiple roles requiring some impressive quick change costume skills.

"Robin Hood!" is a new Globe-commissioned world premiere comedy that tackles another legendary character, Robin Hood. The play is directed by Jessica Stone who previously did "Arms and the Man" and "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" at the Globe.

Ludwig and Stone readily acknowledge that the source of inspiration for the play is the classic Warner Brothers film starring the dashing Errol Flynn. That film also sets the tone for the swordplay choreographed by Jacob Grigolia-Rosenbaum. He grew up loving Flynn's movies, which inspired him to pursue fencing and ultimately a career as a fight choreographer. Here is a sample of the swordplay between Flynn's Robin Hood and Basil Rathbone's Sir Guy of Gisbourne in "The Adventures of Robin Hood."

Robin fights Sir Guy

Grigolia-Rosenbaum's job was made more challenging by the fact that the play is being performed in the round with audience members just a few feet away from actors wielding swords.


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