The Miraculous Mis-Adventures of Robin Hood, Three Inch Fools at Stourhead and touring

WHAT is a three-inch fool?  According to Grumio in The Taming of the Shrew, it’s anyone of small stature, but that’s not a requirement for membership of the touring theatre company that takes its name.

Founded in 2015, the Fools have built up a keen following around the UK with their unique Shakespearean productions, concentrating on small but versatile companies of actor-musicians.

This year, with the aid of an ACE grant, they are touring two Shakespeare plays and a new version of the tales of Robin Hood. It has been created for family audiences and certainly delighted both the young and older on the South Lawn of Stourhead House. With a cast of five and a dramatis personae of dozens, it calls for swift movements, clever costume changes and a major suspension of disbelief – but when did that stop a riotously successful telling of the tales of the Merrie Men?

The youngest member of our group was particularly taken by Ben Boskovic, whose conversation between Little John and the Sheriff of Nottingham (both played by him, with the quick changing of hats) was a highlight.

The lanky Robin Harris as the rotund Friar Tuck and Dexter Southern as the preening Prince John were joined by Amelia Gabriel as our hero Robin and Emily Newsome as the courageous Maid Marion.  All played multiple parts and swapped musical instruments with the speed of sound.

Whether it was stealing from the rich to give to the poor, outwitting the witless nobles, loyally saving the crown for the rightful king or just fooling around, this is a colourful, energetic and witty show. I’m sure that the packed audience will want to see another of the troupes, and they have the chance then Romeo and Juliet comes to Stourhead on 12th September.  It will also be performed at Corfe Castle on Wednesday 25th August, and the third merry band of Fools will give their Merry Wives of Windsor at Highcliffe Castle on Thursday 26th August.

Visit their website for more details of how you can join in the well-ventilated, socially distanced audience for  a dollop of live theatre with music – just the thing for a summer’s evening.


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