Riccarton Bush (outside Riccarton House), Christchurch

01/02/2017 - 19/02/2017

Production Details


With a female in the lead role, mediaeval hero Robin Hood is set for a makeover next month in Christchurch’s Anthony Harper Summer Theatre 2017 production.

The Forge at The Court is writing and performing a comedic adaption of this timeless story, which runs from 1 to 19 February 2017 in the grounds of Riccarton House. The heroic outlaw is being played by young Christchurch actor Sophia Benter-Lynch.

Director, Dan Pengelly says the team who brought to life Peter Pan and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz will be back with a cheeky new take on Robin Hood’s adventures.

“The audience is in for plenty of surprises and lots of laughs. They can expect to meet all their favourite characters. Maid Marion, the Merry Men, Friar Tuck, the Sherriff of Nottingham and King John will be played by a cast of seven talented actors,” he says.

The expansive woodland grounds at Riccarton House is the perfect place for recreating the magic and mystery of Sherwood Forest.

“We will be making the most of this beautiful setting amongst the century-old trees,” Pengelly says.

Families and friends are encouraged to bring a blanket and a picnic and enjoy the free show, which promises something for all ages. Koha donations will go to The Forge Theatre Company, which lost its home after the 2011 earthquake.

About Robin Hood

Sherwood Forest is being plundered by the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. The King has suffered a defeat with the Crusaders. Who will protect the people?

It’s Robin Hood! Watch him learn to split arrows, woo maidens and see the beginnings of his quest to take from the rich and give to the poor.

Gather family and friends, pack a picnic and enjoy a cheeky take on this well-loved story in the wooded surrounds of Riccarton House, as The Forge at The Court present comedy for all ages, from the team who brought you Peter Pan and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Award-winning law firm Anthony Harper has been behind this family event, part of the Christchurch City Council’s popular SummerTimes event programme, for the past 13 years. In 2016 the event attracted 15,000 people.

Anthony Harper’s Lythan Chapman says it has become a much-loved part of Christchurch’s summer calendar. “Anthony Harper is delighted to make Summer Theatre possible. Every year the event grows, with rave reviews for the performances, atmosphere and beautiful outdoor setting.

“It is an ideal place for families to come together and enjoy theatre produced by New Zealand’s longest running professional theatre company,” she says.

Anthony Harper Summer Theatre
at Riccarton House grounds, 16 Kahu Road, Christchurch
Wednesday 1 February to Sunday 19 February 2017
at 7pm Wednesday to Sunday each week
and 2pm on 4, 5, 6, 12, 18 and 19 February.

About The Forge Theatre Company

Dan Pengelly – Director, Anthony Harper Summer Theatre: Robin Hood
Dan is the Associate Director of The Court Theatre. His Court Theatre directorial credits include The Events, The Dunstan Creek Séance; The Wonderful Wizard of OZ, The Cat in the Hat; Niu Sila, Peter Pan and You Can Always Hand Them Back.

Oliver Morse – Designer
Oliver has a Bachelor of Design from Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School and has consistently worked with Long Cloud Youth Theatre in Wellington since graduating. He returns to The Forge at the Court after designing last year’s SummerTimes production, Peter Pan.

Sophia Benter-Lynch – Actor, Robin Hood
Sophia recently graduated from Cashmere High. She joined The Court Theatre Youth Company in 2016, where she first played James, a confused boy facing puberty in her devised Duets piece, and then Myrrhine in Cashmere High’s final show Lysistrata. With school she competed in both the Sheila Winn Shakespeare and Stage Challenge competitions. When not eating chocolate, Sophia can be found working at Deluxe Cinemas in The Tannery to save for her travels or enjoying outdoor activities such as scuba diving and attempting to surf.

Carrie Green – Actor
Carrie is a 2012 graduate of Toi Whakaari NZ Drama school. She works across the country specialising in comedy. Her recent credits include The Streaker (Centrepoint Theatre), Hinepau (Capital E), Roger Hall’s Red Riding hood (Circa) and The Emperor’s New Clothes at The Court.

Jared Corbin – Actor
Jared is a well-known member of The Court Jesters. He performed regularly at Scared Scriptless and a founding member of corporate comedy troupe The Outwits. Jared has appeared in many productions at The Court Theatre and played five different characters in last year’s Anthony Harper Summer Theatre production of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Andrew Ford – Actor
Andrew is a graduate of UNITEC and his theatre credits include The Complete History of Cinema: Abridged; The Complete History of Christchurch: Abridged, Peter Pan & The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He has also performed in several Court Theatre productions.

About Anthony Harper

For more than 150 years Anthony Harper has helped, assisted and advised New Zealand and international clients achieve their goals. The firm’s high-performing, internationally-ranked solicitors are deeply immersed in their 20 specialist areas: banking and finance, insolvency and corporate recovery, construction, corporate advisory, cross border investments, employment, food and beverage, health and safety, hotels and hospitality, insurance, intellectual property, litigation, logistics and transport, manufacturing and exporting, property, resource management, retail, retirement villages, technology and trusts and asset planning.

As one of the largest law firms in New Zealand, Anthony Harper is proud to be able to solve the most complex of problems for our clients, whilst fostering an inclusive work environment and enhancing its local communities.

Theatre , Outdoor , Family ,

Freewheeling, slightly chaotic and packed with pop-culture references

Review by Charlie Gates 02nd Feb 2017

This version of Robin Hood is definitely more Men in Tights than Prince of Thieves.  

The latest open air Summer Theatre production is an infectiously silly and funny collection of jokes hung very loosely on the Robin Hood legend.

Staged in the beautiful Riccarton House grounds, this show offers enough silly spectacle for children to enjoy and enough dirty jokes that will soar over the heads of the children and entertain the adults. [More


Make a comment

Polished dexterity and timing supports genial, colourful nonsense

Review by Lindsay Clark 02nd Feb 2017

For their third season of outdoor Summer Theatre, The Court’s Youth Company, led again by the indefatigable Daniel Pengelly, has a head start with the greenwood setting and the popular appeal of the little person who stands up to and defeats a pompous tyrant. In other years settings and plot lines (Peter Pan and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) have been less adaptable to the challenge of open air performance, excellent entertainment though they were.

In The Forge version of the Robin Hood story, some tricksy gender reversal spices things further. Among the clutch of notables, Robin is played by a nimble Sophia Benter-Lynch, her hard won Marian (first spied in a maid’s apron), by Nick Cheesebrough, the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham by Carrie Green and Little Joan, in a double whammy of the gender whim, by Jared Corbin.

A Guy from Gisborne could only be played by Andrew Ford, whose over the top relish of baddie roles has contributed memorably also in the earlier productions.  The ensemble is sometimes a band of merry maidens and sometimes a posse of guards, managing the switches with the flick of a hood and plait.

The fun with roles sets a mood not far short of joyful send-up. Combined with plentiful corny humour and a sprinkling of double entendre, the production races through the high points of the traditional story and the audience loves every moment.

Notable features for me are the polished dexterity and timing whereby comings and goings as well as multi-roles are handled. The cast’s slickness and energy more than compensates for minor niggles of vocal quality or contrived action. Scarlet streamers of blood and frequently elegant death exits, over a low point at centre back, are further examples of the genial and colourful nonsense permeating the whole production.

The production team serves all this well. Sound in particular (design Tom Harris, operator Geoff Nunn) is a critical element in the experience, as are Oliver Morse’s fun props and functional set. Hayley Douglas’s costumes give an appropriate nod to the status and period requirements of the tale. Dan Pengelly’s confident direction welds all into an engaging dollop of family friendly fun, just needing the co-operation of fickle summer weather to ensure the season it deserves. 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council
Waiematā Local Board logo