This half-term, we welcome back New Mutiny Theatre Company with the world premiere of a new staging of Robin Hood. We spoke to Callum McIntyre – company founder, composer and actor who plays the title role of Robin – about why this new adaptation promises to be a such a swashbuckling experience.
Can you tell us a little bit about New Mutiny Theatre Company and how you formed?
The company first formed in 2013. We all met at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and in our second year one of our projects was to create an hour-long adaptation of Romeo and Juliet to perform to families and schools around the southwest. We had so much fun making the show that we decided to take it up to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe that year. It was so well-received that we thought we might be on to something, From that point our mission was simple: to reimagine classic stories for family audiences, and to present them in a challenging and engaging way. Thanks to the faith shown in us by The Old Market, we have been able to establish the company and keep making work that excites us!
This is New Mutiny’s second full length production, following your very well-received debut, Romeo & Juliet. Why did you decide to adapt Robin Hood?
After starting with Shakespeare for our first production, we really wanted to look at classic tales. One of the main reasons we chose Robin Hood was the characters. There are some fantastic and richly drawn characters that we think we know well, and yet also know very little. When we looked back at the old tales and legends of Robin Hood we found that we had so much scope to play with these characters.
Live original music is a key part of this production. Can you tell us more about it, and how you work with musicians and composers when creating a new show?
Music is such an important part of storytelling. We like to take inspiration from the music we ourselves enjoy, and to work it into every show we produce. As well as playing Robin, I am also the company’s resident composer, and I’ve been able to create the music for the show in the rehearsal room as the action is being shaped. However, like all of our work, everything we create is done as a group: the process of creating the music is always very open and fluid. It relies on all of the performers to collectively shape something that is really exciting!
What can audiences expect to take away from seeing this production?
Our version of Robin Hood is about lots of things: friendship, growing up, responsibility, family and justice to name a few – audiences can expect the show to explore all these ideas and more. But ultimately we believe theatre should be fun. Our shows grow out of a sense of play, and Robin Hood is no exception. Expect beautiful music, exciting action and lots of silliness.
This is your second time performing at The Old Market. What do you like about the venue, and performing in Brighton & Hove?
Much like Brighton & Hove, The Old Market is beautiful: the space is warm and versatile, the setting is gorgeous, and most importantly, the people are brilliant. The staff at TOM work tirelessly to ensure everyone who enters the venue – whether audience or performer – has the best possible experience. They are passionate about what they do, and it shows. So why do we keep coming back? That’s easy: because it feels like home.
If there’s one character in the show you identify with, who would it be and why?
Personally I think I identify most with Tuck: a bit grumpy and curmudgeonly, but ultimately an alright bloke. Also I’m a big fan of a good meat pie with gravy…