The BBC’s got a great story about a band of merry men (and women) who invaded Nottingham last weekend, not to topple the Sheriff, but to break the world record for the most people dressed as Robin Hood. And just like England’s famous outlaw, they took the gold, setting a new world record of 1,119. That easily splits the arrow of the old record, which was 607. To qualify, participants had to meet the dress code minimum: a feathered cap, a green or brown tunic and trousers, and leather footwear. As a couple of DJ’s from a radio station here in Vancouver quipped this morning: any one of those people could probably give a better performance than Kevin Costner.
Hearing the story this morning got me to thinking about the many, many takes on the Robin Hood legend in books, film and TV. There are quite a few I enjoy, but my favourite is probably “Sherwood” and “Robin & the King” – a semi-reimagining of the tale by Parke Godwin. The worst, hands-down, was an old cartoon from the late sixties (which I saw in reruns in the 70’s as a kid) called “Rocket Robin Hood” – terrible animation and stories so boring I felt like the writers must have been hit a few too many times with a quarterstaff.