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The Russian Cultural Centre was, as ever, packed out for the Junior School Play, with both nights sold out well in advance. The audience was treated to a hilarious modern version of the story of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, including a host of unusual characters from Bill Gates to Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles. Among many great jokes were the narrator’s suggestion to Robin that his ‘nom de plume’ should be Atlas Chooty Gel Pen and the Bishop of Nottingham’s palace looking suspiciously like Loxley Manor because the backstage crew could not be bothered to change the set. Leonid Mylvanagam led the cast with aplomb, his ease and assurance in the title role putting all the other actors at ease. Uma Sandrasagra shone as the narrator, whose ongoing dialogue with the main characters provided much of the knowing humour. Tee Lei revelled in the role of the evil Sheriff of Nottingham while Arshana Welivita employed facial expressions to great effect to express her revulsion at Robin for his initial appearance, his cunning plan and his eventual abandonment of her. Eleanora Deemer was brilliant as the over-efficient ‘PA to PJ’, as was Kanza Dilshard as the desperate lady in waiting. Among the audience favourites were Tienn Kapilasena’s creepy portrayal of Alan-a-Dale as a washed-out hippy and the Ninja Turtles – Ammaar Rishad, Damarius Sebastiampillai, Jack Shearer and Avlok Wignaraja – whose slapstick antics enlivened every scene they were in.

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