When we first went into rehearsals for Robin Hood I was concerned with my interpretation of the police. In the show, they’re essentially depicted (with the exception of one do-gooder) as robotic bullies who just follow orders. They lack sensitivity when it comes to dealing with the social problems that plague our society and don’t so much as serve and protect the community but rather keep it in line. In line with what? The status quo, the legal system, the powers-that-be, the insert system-of-control here, etc. Was this a fair assessment? Maybe not. A broad generalization? Perhaps. However, Robin Hood is, in essence, a romance and an adventure. These genres have clearly defined bad guys and good guys with little room for the complex grey area that many of us (most of us?) occupy.
The classic story features guards and knights as henchmen and corrupt monarchy and church officials as the ruling bad guys. In modernizing the story, the obvious contemporary equivalent for knights and guards seemed to be the police. Moreover, I didn’t have to look much further past the BC Liberals and federal Conservatives to find my version of the ruling bad guys.
The “Cops and Politicians are bad” brush stroke I’ve painted Robin Hood with serves mainly as a comedic device. Its fun for me, as a writer, to mock and denigrate those who wield and abuse power and hopefully it will be fun for you, the viewer, the watch and laugh along with it. It’s easy to feel powerless sometimes no matter how often other people bend over backwards trying to remind us we live in a democracy. I’d argue that true democracy has never been known. Not to us. Not even close. However that, alas, is another blog post altogether.
I considered toning down my mockery and watering down the satire for fear of not presenting an accurate representation of society. And then I saw this:
And on the local front there was this:
I don’t think any of us will soon forget this. If you don’t want to see a man killed by the police then I suggest you DON’T watch this link:
Needless to say, now I’m not so concerned.