It’s fun to be the bad guy. And the kids who seemed to having the most fun on Sunday (8/25) at the Knoxville Children’s Theatre were Alex Montgomery, playing the Sheriff of Nottingham, and his wildly evil daughter Catherine, played by Olivia Rhea.
The theatre’s founder, Zack Allen, wrote the script for “The Ballad of Robin Hood” in 2010. The late Mr. Allen wrote 18 full-length original plays for KCT during his life.
The title role went to Eason Bullard, 12, who has performed in 10 KCT productions. Eason gave a solid performance as Robin Hood – outlaw, archer, suitor of Maid Marion (played by Emmalea Merrell) and overall nemesis of those who ruled unfairly.
You know the story. While Richard the Lionheart was off fighting in the crusades, his less able brother John assumed the throne of England. Through henchmen like the Sheriff of Nottingham, John overtaxed and underserved his subjects. A band of outlaws led by the hooded Robin of Locksey lived in Sherwood forest, taking from the rich to give to the poor.
Comedy infused the drama, primarily from Truman Ball and Deshaun O’Keefe as bumbling deputies of the sheriff and Cordelia Nelson as Friar Tuck.
A crowd favorite was PJ Copeland, playing Will Scarlet. The Cedar Bluff Middle School seventh grader commanded his scenes, aided by his brilliant red costume. Tripp Keeton was realistic as Little John and Wyatt Keeton stole a couple of scenes as the Bishop of Hereford.
The play lasted about 90 minutes with one intermission. Directed and adapted by Julia Stark, it runs through Sept. 1.
Other cast members were Cooper Delamain as Much the Miller’s Son, Sophia Elkins as Ellen-A-Dale, Ethan Elder as Sir Michael of Lea, Joshua Howerton as King Henry II and Sydney Parman as Queen Eleanor, and Mateo Mejia as Richard the Lionheart. The Clayton Family Foundation sponsored this year’s season.
There are three remaining plays: “Charlotte’s Web,” Sept. 13 to Oct. 6; “Julius Caesar, Nov. 1-17; and “Elf Jr., the Musical,” Dec. 6-22.