Ha Ha Hood! And The Prince Of Leaves performing at The Palace Theatre Newark on Saturday 18th October 2014.


Reviewer:  Kevin Cooper

Hot on the heels of Ha Ha Holmes! comes Ha Ha Hood! and if that was funny then this sequel was absolutely hilarious.

Written and starring Ben Langley as Robin, Ha Ha Hood! tells part two of the legendary story of Robin Hood. It stars the wonderful Su Pollard as Maid Marion alongside Tommy Cannon in the guise of the Sheriff of Nottingham and Little John, and Bobby Ball, thriving as Friar Tuck, Guy of Gisbourne and wedding planner, Madame Pompom.

After bickering and arguing, Robin and Marion are now divorced and living separate lives. When Marion, who now works as a NHS nurse, discovers that the Sheriff is back and seeking revenge, she tracks Robin down to a pub in Nottingham. And so the fun begins.

With Cannon and Ball forever ad-libbing, and preying on unsuspecting audience members, it is clear that the pair have admirably evolved with the times. That Bobby Ball finds himself in the wrong costume, wandering bewildered downstage, is a sample of the show’s loose charm. The show is full of fumbled lines and it is hard to tell how much is real and how much is role; a sign we’re dealing with consummate professionals. They truly are well oiled machines, whose old, faithful, comedic routines remain a sure thing to make us laugh.

The brains behind the Ha Ha! series, Ben Langley, never ceased to amaze with his admirable stamina, which is required to cope with the scene changes which he did himself by moving a screen and boxes about at a frenetic pace, whilst at the same time ad-libbing to make the audience laugh.

There were many memorable moments; Ben Langley had the audience in tears of laughter singing one particular song, and the brilliant Su Pollard delivered one of the most novel takeaway orders you are ever likely to hear. The gym scene was so funny that ribs were held tightly as we wiped the tears from our eyes. There’s predictable flatulence, ditties and innuendo, but you wouldn’t expect anything different.

Niftily staged on a budget, Ha Ha Hood! also owes a lot to the fine musical backing of Andy Pickering, who when called upon, provided funny extra gags and was the subject of many a joke.

Watching the show, I got the impression that those on stage were having just as much fun as the audience. This show had everything you would want; comedy heroes, fantastic one liners and it is funny. Very, very funny.