ROBIN Hood and his bunch of Merry Men are set to arrive in Winchester.

City playwright Jonathan Edgington has dreamed up a swashbuckling script for The Chesil Theatre to bring to the stage in the beautiful gardens of Wolvesey Palace.

Audiences should expect the unexpected and lots of laughs in this fun-filled version of the adventures of Robin and the outlaws, which cleverly combines the traditional elements of the legend with brand new material.

A cast of more than 30 will bring the production, Jonathan Edgington's first full length play, to the stage

"I'm very excited to see it now," he told the Daily Echo. "I've been working on it for two years on and off - 102 pages of script, 22 scenes and 31 talking characters, plus lots of sub plots.

"There's all the traditional stuff people will expect and all the old stories in there, but there's a great deal more as well.

"I would say it's 60 per cent traditional Robin Hood and 40 per cent new stuff with lots of new characters. I don't want to give too much away but there are three very strong female central characters and everyone who has seen them in rehearsal loves them.

"It's completely drama and not panto, but it's good family fun. We're thrilled with it."

A former Transport for London lawyer, father of three and new grandfather of one, Jonathan took part in the Nuffield's two year playwriting course and has enjoyed success with short plays including Three Nil Down At Half Time, which was performed in Covent Garden. His wife Deborah is a freelance theatre director.

Weary from The Crusades, Robin of Loxley returns to Nottingham to marry his childhood sweetheart, Lady Marion, and claim his family inheritance. Instead he finds a much changed country where the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham rides roughshod over the lives of the citizens.

Can Robin, aided by his new comrades and the plucky Lady Marion, bring peace and justice back? All their archery and sword fighting skills will be put to the test if they are to succeed. Add romance, intrigue and even some supernatural happenings and the Palace Gardens will come alive with a memorable production brought to you with all the expertise and experience of the much loved Chesil Theatre.

Robin Hood follows the success of The Three Musketeers two years ago.

The play is also being considered by a top publisher.

Tickets are available for shows from next Tuesday to Saturday. Visit