Saturday, 16 May 2009

Who would mourn for the Sheriff of Nottingham?

What will we remember the Sheriff of Nottingham for? His canaries? The coach he seems to have imported from Transylvania? His black silk pyjamas? No doubt if Marian were still with us she'd remember him for an all too public hair appointment, whilst Roy would remember him for a cut more painful even than that. Alan will remember the Sheriff for hanging his brother ahead of schedule, and ahead of rescue. When word of the Sheriff's demise reaches the Scarlet family home in the Holy land, Will will reflect upon his father's death at the hands of the Sheriff's men. Matilda might consider herself lucky that her encounter with the Sheriff was nothing more terminal than the Witch's ducking chair. Guy might remember him for the acid he poured on his tattooed arm, together with an endless stream of humiliations, or maybe he'll remember the Sheriff for a particularly good shoulder massage…

I think the makers of Robin Hood will surely remember him as the satellite of experience around whom the younger members of the cast at the start of Series 1 could gravitate and find their feet. What about you?

Welsh born Keith Allen's life would seem to have been as eventful as the Sheriff of Nottingham's. Possibly more so. He has served time in both Borstal and Pentonville Prison; fathered 7 children by 5 women (an 8th is on the way); was thrown out of drama school for "student union activities"; worked as a stage hand at the Victoria Palace Theatre where, to get his own back on an allegedly mean Max Bygraves, turned up completely naked in the chorus line during Bygraves's performance. As Keith himself would say: “I've always maintained if you want to act you should get yourself a life first“.

British audiences first encountered his work during the post-punk "alternative comedy" movement, not only appearing in programmes such as "Comic Strip Presents", but also sharing the writing. During the 1990s he co-wrote New Order's hit "World In Motion", as well as forming a solid friendship with Brit artist Damien Hurst. In fact, Keith Allen is on record for saying he hates actors and much prefers the company of artists and musicians. And who will ever forget his 1998 Football song parody, "Vindaloo"? (see THIS LINK, though I've been desperately trying to forget it for years now!) But let's cut to the chase here: Keith Allen has an on-screen presence rivalled by very few Brits when it comes to the "bad guys". In “Robin Hood“, with tremendous skill, he walked that line between "pantomime villain", and a down right nasty piece of work. In fact, there are numerous scenes, especially early on in the show, where the less experienced cast (as they were at the time) seem genuinely unnerved by him.

My previous review of Keith Allen as the Sheriff of Nottingham (posted on THIS LINK), still holds true. That post contains links to previous incarnations of the Sheriff of Nottingham, and makes relevant comparisons to previous interpretations of the role which I won‘t repeat here.

Known to be an actor who needs a director willing to leave him some space in which to develop and incorporate his own ideas as they occur. For example, I'm willing to bet much of the routines with his false tooth, after Richard Armitage had knocked out real one in a sword fight, all came from him. Keith Allen's work in Series 1 and 2 is that which he will most be remembered for by the Hoodies. It is no secret he expressed his "boredom" at continuing with the project much beyond that, preferring to move on to new challenges. (He was Long John Silver at the Theatre Royal, London, towards the end of 2008). So, whether the wily Sheriff escaped death (as he said to Gisborne: "Nothing is as it seems"), or whether that shaky hand was simply a post-death spasm, I think we can assume Keith Allen won't be back. Unless of course it is to commit one final dastardly deed…

Note: I am sometimes asked if Nottingham still has a Sheriff. Yes we do. but these days the post is really intended more to boost tourism due to the obvious links with Robin Hood. So today our Sheriff is less likely to be burning down Loxley, but rather spending his time promoting tourism and local businesses. Our first of 5 female Sheriffs was in 1931, and the most recent in 2006.

More posts about the Sheriff of Nottingham can be found on this link:

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Blogger robin hood said...

Robin Hood Series 3 Cast:

Robin Hood - Jonas Armstrong
Kate - Joanne Froggatt
Guy of Gisborne - Richard Armitage
Tuck - David Harewood
Sheriff of Nottingham - Keith Allen
Little John - Gordon Kennedy
Much - Sam Troughton
Allan-a-Dale - Joe Armstrong
Isabella - Lara Pulver

16 May 2009 at 13:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he moved his hand -he is not dead

16 May 2009 at 23:23  
Blogger evielyn said...

Hi Robin, I also remember Keith in a dramatisation of Charles Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewhit on TV a few years ago.

I thought he was brilliant in that. He played a Villain(of course) and a wife beater as well and I found him really unnerving!

I think it is the expressions on his face that make him so convincing

17 May 2009 at 15:07  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi anonymous,Yes I think we all saw his hand move.

But corpses do weird things when they're dead. (True).

17 May 2009 at 15:47  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Evielyn,A whole weekend with no new Robin Hood!

Yes, I think I saw that dramatisation now you mention it. I think he's excellent. he should have gone as far as Tim Roth really, who came up at about the same time. But I guess he's not the "Hollywood type".

17 May 2009 at 15:50  
Blogger evielyn said...

I know there's no new ROBIN HOOD I am having withdrawal symptoms!!

17 May 2009 at 16:58  
Blogger Paige said...

I, for one, will definitely miss the Sheriff. Even if he's not dead yet, he will be before the season's over.

As I said on my blog, the scene where Guy and the Sheriff are fighting was my favorite one in that episode. This show has changed so much in it's short three seasons, that I think I'll be sad to loose him, simply because that's another change. Keith really brought a lot to the show as a villan. I look forward to seeing what the Sheriff has up his sleeve when he returns.

18 May 2009 at 00:19  
Blogger pAu said...


A mi siempre me encanto el personaje de Keith Allen como el Sheriff de Nottingham, es muy carismatico y lo personifico tan bien que va a ser recordado por este papel.
Hay una posibilidad de que vuelva, porque al finalizar el episodio, cuando se lo estan llevando, el mueve la mano.. Eso da la posibilidad de una vuelta.. Y espero que sea asi..

Que lastima que no hay capitulo esta semana ='(..
Nos vemos la semana que viene..

Desde Argentina, te mando un beso enorme!!

18 May 2009 at 04:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much I miss Vasey/Keith Allan will all depend on who the new sheriff is. For instance, I think Sir Jasper is a great character and could fill the void pretty well. On the other hand, though I like Guy/Richard Armitage, I don't think I'd like him acting as Sheriff of Nottingham. He's much more interesting as a slight underdog.

18 May 2009 at 04:27  
Blogger Clement of the Glen said...

One of the strongest characters in the series. I thought Keith Allen gave a whole new meaning to the acting terms of, 'over-the-top' and 'biting the scenery'!

(Obviously taken a leaf out of the book, 'Playing The Sheriff of Nottingham or How to Cancel Christmas' by Alan Rickman.)

I think to begin with Allen thoroughly enjoyed himself and had a whole lot of fun playing the part. Almost like a pantomime vilain. He was great fun and will be missed.

18 May 2009 at 19:06  
Blogger evielyn said...

I was a little bit disappionted with the Sheriff being killed by Guy. I would have preferred it to have been Robin.

Most probably because as yet Guy doesn't appear to have profited by it. He seems to be on a downward spiral giving his allegiance to who ever uses him.

I also liked Sir Jasper he was another wasted character in my opinion

18 May 2009 at 19:26  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Paige,IF he returns......


Hi dcwash,I agree that RA / Guy should not become Sheriff. It's a waste of a character.


Hi Clement,Yes indeed, Rickman left a legacy. One which in turn surely owed a lot to Nicholas grace ((Robin of Sherwood).


Hi Evielyn,having Robin Hood kill anyone at present seems to be off limits. But it would have been nice if he HAD to do it.

19 May 2009 at 13:04  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hello pAu,

Espero que Keith Allen devuelva uno más tiempo. Sería agradable si hubiera uno más lucha enorme con él al final.

Uso a un traductor de Internet. Yo sólo podría encontrar un translatar que tradujo Spannish al inglés. Yo no podía encontrar un traductor argentino.

Pero es agradable tener noticias de usted.


19 May 2009 at 13:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whilst I realise this blog does not endorse gossip I feel the fact that Lucy Griffiths turns up everywhere with her beau Joseph Kennedy (Character Carter ) must be worth a mention .

21 May 2009 at 21:45  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi anonymous,Hey we all LOVE gossip around here. The only things I won't do are:

1. Provide links to sites which illegally broadcast the show.

2. Give too many "spoilers", - which is difficult 'cos all the cast seem intent on telling us they're leaving!

22 May 2009 at 00:04  
Blogger pAu said...

Robin Hood..
Siempre visito el Blog, me encanta el personaje de Robin Hood y la serie es fantastica para mi..
Aunque como todas, extrañamos la presencia de Marian y me encanta cuando Robin habla de ella en la serie y la musica que hace el recuerdo.

Entiendo lo que escribis, yo tambien uso traductor, aunque me defiendo bastante con el ingles.
Espero que vos entiendas lo que escribo yo.. =)

Te mando un Beso Enorme.

4 June 2009 at 03:56  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi pAu,

Es todavía muy triste que Marian no está en la serie. Muchos ventiladores ingleses preocupan que el Robin parece se haber olvidado todo acerca de ella. Quizá por eso Kate no es muy popular en el Reino Unido.

Yo también espero ver la nueva película con Russell Crowe como Robin.

4 June 2009 at 09:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well i wont remember that son of a bitch!!! he was kinda gay just like prince john!!! but he is gonna b back at the finale of season 3....i liked the look of his face when he gets defeted by robin, he olwayz says "guards!!!!!! get himmmmmmmmm" that i will miss...

14 June 2009 at 22:52  

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