Directed by Gisli Örn Gardarsson, The Heart of Robin Hood had its U.K. premiere in 2011 and was seen at the American Repertory Theater in 2013. The staging boasts swashbuckling, acrobatics, comedy, drama, cross-dressing, trap doors and aerial work.
David Mirvish National Artists Management Company (Tony-winning producers Barry and Fran Weissler) present the production that is currently playing a pre-Broadway Canadian engagement at Winnipeg's John Hirsch Mainstage through Dec. 6, prior to a Dec. 23-March 1, 2015, run at Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre.
Previews begin March 10 at the Marquis Theatre. The Broadway production will open March 29 for a strictly limited engagement through Aug. 23. The Marquis' next tenant will be the Gloria Estefan musical On Your Feet!, which is scheduled for an Oct. 5 Broadway arrival.
The Heart of Robin Hood features songs by the bluegrass-roots band Parsonsfield, including musicians Chris Freeman, Antonio Alcorn, Max Shakun, Harrison Goodale and Erik Hischmann. The musicians perform on stage during the production. Casting for the Broadway production will be announced at a later date.
The Canadian cast features Tony Award winner Gabriel Ebert (Matilda, Casa Valentina) as Robin Hood and Tony nominee Euan Morton (Taboo) as Prince John, as well as Izzie Steele (All's Well That Ends Well) as Marion and Christian Lloyd (Amadeus) as Pierre.
The ensemble includes Anna Bartlam, Richard Clarkin, Jeremy Crawford, Zachary Eisenstat, Paul Essiembre, Amariah Faulkner, Troy Feldman, Martin Julien, Tristan Mackid, Katelyn McCulloch, Meguire McRae-King, Carson Reaume, Sarah Schenkkan, Stephen Michael Spencer, Darcy Stewart and Tate Yap.
According to the creators, "Every legendary hero has to start somewhere. In The Heart of Robin Hood, playwright David Farr presents a wildly imaginative, theatrically dazzling new spin on the familiar fable. First, forget everything you ever knew about Robin Hood. In this reimagining, Robin (Ebert) and his unmerry gang of cutthroats steal from the rich, but it’s never occurred to them to give anything back to anyone. But when wicked Prince John (Morton) threatens all, bold Marion (Steele) steps in to protect the poor and transform a thuggish Robin from hood to good... Critics have cheered the eye-popping, athletic and endlessly inventive production from acclaimed director Gisli Örn Gardarsson, which explodes off the stage to take place in front, above and on all sides of the audience."
The production has scenic design by Börkur Jónsson, costume design by Emma Ryott, lighting design by Graeme S. Thomson, sound design by Jonathan Deans & Garth Helm, and associate direction/choreography by Selma Björnsdóttir. Walter Bobbie is the creative consultant.
Playwright Farr is a former associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He is co-writer of the RSC's Night of the Soul, and Metamorphosis, The UN Inspector, The Nativity and Elton John's Glasses.