The annual Queen’s Theatre pantomime — with Robin Hood in the hot seat this year — kicks off in Barnstaple this December.

PANTO fever returned to North Devon on Friday as the cast of Robin Hood brought the magic of Sherwood Forest to Funderzone in Barnstaple.

The launch of the annual Queen’s Theatre pantomime saw cast members bring a little extra Lincoln green clad merriment to the afternoon session at the family soft play centre in Whiddon Valley.

It is the first year North Devon Theatres has brought its traditional Christmas pantomime in-house and audiences have been promised a sheriff-busting, arrow-shooting, tights-wearing, hog-roasting extravaganza.

This year Funderzone is one of the main production sponsors, together with St Johns Garden Centre.

Based on the much-loved English folk tale, Robin Hood will be an action packed pantomime with stunning new costumes, fantastic live music, a brand new script and of course plenty of comedy mayhem.

Delighting youngsters at Funderzone was Maid Marian, played by Laura Main, star of BBC One’s Call The Midwife, plus Richard Alan as Friar Tuck, the ‘wicked Sheriff of Nottingham’ Jon Wadey — who played ‘Herman the Henchman’ last year, as well as Merry Men Little John (Dan Phillips) and Alan a Dale (Paul Rich) plus the Fairy of the forest Lisa Hanson.

“We’re proud to be sponsoring the panto and this was a great opportunity for the children to meet the cast and have fun,” said Funderzone manager Jody Richards.

“I remember my first panto and I loved it so much, so it’s great now to be able to share that with our families here.”

So join Robin and his motley band of Merry Men – wearing of course the latest fashion in tights - as they take on the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham and battle to rescue Maid Marian from his evil clutches... and all without a ladder in sight.

The production opens on Saturday, December 15 and runs through until January 5, with a mix of evening and matinee shows.

Tickets and more information are available from the box office on 01271 324242 or go to www.northdevontheatres.org.uk

* Look out for the Robin Hood Caption Competition the North Devon Gazette is running from 14 November with 4 family tickets to the show to be won.