The Robin Hood Musical

 

Scene Three - Sherwood Forest

 

Cast: Robin Hood, Maid Marian, Little John,

      Eleanor Dale, Will Scarlet, Much the Miller's Son

 

Marian, daughter of Sir Richard at the Lee, is searching for Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest, and sings Where's Robin Hood?

A stranger, alias Robin Hood, enters and doffs his cap in gentlemanly fashion.

Robin: Welcome, good lady, to the greenwood. Though the forest is dangerous you show no fear. Have you good reason to be here?

Marian: I am searching for an outlaw.

Robin: Searching for an outlaw! To your courage I must attest, my lady, for this is a dangerous quest.

Marian: I'm looking for Robin Hood who is not without honour and I know to be good. Do you know him?

Robin: How do know this outlaw is an honourable man?

Marian: He saved my father, Sir Richard at the Lea, from disaster and I wish to thank him personally, if I can.

Robin: Well! Not only add the virtue of loyalty to your courage but also good luck, for I am the outlaw you seek - Robin Hood.

Marian: Then it is you, Robin, who has restored my father's fortunes and I thank you sincerely in this greenwood.

Robin: I don't know why you wish to thank me, dear lady, for I only entertained your father to dinner and a knight’s clothes I have never seen thinner.

Marian: He has repaid his debt to St. Mary's Abbey and his lands have been restored.

Robin: Good for him; you couldn't find a more deserving lord. I can only presume the Abbot of St. Mary's was displeased.

Marian: He was a little surprised, as was the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Robin: Isn't it amazing how the Sheriff always turns up to pick at your bones when fate is against you. His comeuppance is long overdue.

Marian: They say you are a master of disguise and have fooled the Sheriff a time or two.  

Robin: Yes, sometimes he hasn’t much of a clue. I once disguised myself as a butcher, just in jest, and the Sheriff asked me if I had any horned beasts of the best. ‘Yes’ I said, ‘and they’re the best you will see; bring out your gold and I’ll show you where they be. Here in Sherwood I showed him herds of red deer and said pay me your gold right here and now. He said he’d been had and was soon away, so I said: ‘Tell your wife it’s been a nice day.’ You see his goodly wife had entertained all of us tradesmen to dinner.

Marian: You like to entertain folk to dinner – travellers your men have found.

Robin : Yes. The forest is my home, the greenwood my domain and the paths and highways my hunting ground. I am as free as the birds, foxes and deer around, but unless I have entertained travellers passing through the greenwood, I don't feel as though I have given them a welcome that’s good.

Marian: But you rob them, don't you?'

Robin: I like to meet all travellers, holy or rich - any will do. I inquire about the weight of their purse and assure them that if it is indeed empty, as they say, then I will lend them some. I only have argument with those whose purses I discover are brimming with gold after they say they haven’t a crumb.

Marian: You feel no remorse at robbing monks?

Robin: 'Tis the will of Our Lady. Usually, I ask a holy man to beg the saint who rules his abbey to send him money for his present need, and lo and behold, more often than not, the gold appears in his saddle-bags at great speed. People give so generously. Both rich churchmen generously provide my men with wine for festivals and wealthy merchants provide Lincoln green cloth.

Marian: You force folk to dance to a pipe, many believe, and make them pay in thanksgiving for the justice and mercy they receive.

Robin: 'Tis but a merry joke.

Marian: You like to fight as well, especially in single combat, I hear say?

Robin: I relish a bout with my quarterstaff against those who mistakenly believe they own the highway.

Marian: You are reputed to be the best archer in these parts.

Robin: I sometimes like to take a shot at a stag, whether royal harts, bucks, does or rascals, o’er the lee, or even the Sheriff occasionally! 

Robin throws his head back in a loud guffaw of laughter and his laugh is so infectious that Marian joins in too.

Robin: While I have my good bow and the greenwood shelters me, I can laugh at any foe. Anyone is welcome to join me. Here friends are true and you’re free as the birdies in the tree. All those wronged and on the run can join me in Sherwood’s goodly sun.

Robin sings Robin's Song

At the end of the song, Little John, Eleanor Dale, Will Scarlet and Much enter.

Scarlet: We have come to your aid, master we thought you might have been taken on a flight of fancy.

Robin: Maybe, Scarlet, maybe. As you can see, it is my honour and your honour to be in the company of a fine lady - may I present Maid Marian, daughter of Sir Richard at the Lee, who you know as a gentle and noble knight. This is Alan a Dale and his wife Eleanor on my right, and these are my good yeoman - Will Scarlet, Much the Miller's the Son - not many inches to his body, but every inch a man; and my right hand man — though he is tall, Little John he is called..

Marian: It is a pleasure to meet you. I am here to thank you for helping my father. You did everything for him that you could do. 

Eleanor: It is our pleasure, my lady. Your father is a gentle knight who has sworn to be true.

Marian to Little John: Are you Robin's right-hand man?

Little John: I serve him with all my heart though I am a free man.

Marian: Tell me - how did you fall in with Robin?

Little John (laughing): Fall in! You've hit the right nail on the head there, except he was the one who fell in - into the stream! Dear Eleanor will recount the story.

Eleanor Dale sings the Ballad of Little John

Marian thanks Eleanor for her ballad and turns to Little John.

Marian: Do you like your life in the greenwood?

Little John: ‘Tis a merry life. We live here like squires, or lords of the shire without e'er a foot of free land. We feast on good cheer with wine, ale and beer and everything at our command and hunt for the deer that run here and there.

Marian: But surely, the deer belong to the King?

Little John: The deer belong to the forest and all men - the birds and wild beasts all belong to the greenwood, both chase and warren. They are food for everyone - not just for the King's delight and satisfaction.

The outlaws sing Walk on the Wild Side 

Marian: It seems a good life here in the forest.

Robin: But you should remember, my lady, these are troubled times. With the King away and corruption in the law - the shady Sheriff extracts high taxes, bribes jurors and harasses the poor. And then there is the unfair Forest Law.

Little John: Better let Robin escort you home before darkness falls. There are a lot of rogues abiding in these parts. Why, only the other day, I was bringing food and money to a poor widow hereabouts who had nought in her stomach after paying her taxes to the Sheriff when I came upon three beggars. One was deaf and dumb, another blind and one limped behind on crutches.

'Good morrow!' I greeted them and asked if I could accompany them. Would you credit it but the blind man said he did not like my face; the deaf and dumb one did not like the way I spoke; and the crippled one landed me a lusty kick and told me to clear off.

Well, I gripped the dumb one so tight that he shouted for mercy, gave the blind one such a blow that he saw stars, and the miraculously-cured cripple ran away as fast as a deer.

Robin: I'll escort you to Nottingham , my lady, since I wish to attend the Whit-Sunday service at St. Mary's church.

Eleanor: Surely you had better take an escort, Robin.

Robin: No need for any support. The Sheriff has sworn not to arrest me.

Marian: Is that true, Robin? How can that be?

Robin: This was when Little John, posing as Reynold Greenleaf, tricked the Sheriff into the belief that he had found a large herd of deer in the greenwood. I promised the Sheriff he could spend a year with me, so an outlaw he could be. After one night in just his breeches and shirt, his sides began to smart, and he swore an oath that if I let him go he would be my best friend and none of my men would he ever apprehend.

Little John: I beg you not to go to the service, master, you cannot trust the Sheriff's word - at least take your sword.

Robin: I will not go armed into a church, of that you can be sure. Come Marian, I'll first ensure you are safely home secure.

Will Scarlet mutters: He’s normally sensible as a rule but sometimes stubborn as an abbot's mule.

All walk off.

Scene Closes

 

 

Scene 4