A new attraction has opened in Nottingham, or at least it WILL tomorrow, with the Grand Opening on August 29th. The Robin Hood Legacy is creating quite a stir and I was lucky enough to bag an interview with the guy that’s running the place, Adam Greenwood!
The Robin Hood Legacy? What is it, where is it, and who’s part of it?
The Robin Hood Legacy is the brainchild of David Ward, an entrepreneur who is the son of two champion archers. He was appalled that Nottingham had no dedicated Robin Hood attraction and decided to do something about it. He hired me to design and create the attraction, knowing that I had a keen interest in the subject, had done a vast amount of research and was passionate about Robin Hood and his legend.
The attraction is located very close to Nottingham Castle and is a story-based adventure. Visitors travel from room to room and each room contains a different “set piece” where at least one animated character talks about Robin Hood and their connection to him. The visit ends with a “museum room” with various medieval and Robin Hood-related artefacts.
You get into character for it too, dressing as Robin himself. Is this something you just started recently, to tie in with the attraction, or did you do it previously?
I’ve been portraying Robin professionally for around ten years although he has always been a character that fascinated me. My Robin Hood character began as a way to promote my first novel but, once people got to know that I played Robin Hood, I started to get invited to other events. Now there are many people for whom I am the embodiment of Robin Hood.
Are you an archer yourself?
I’d describe myself as competent but not skilled. This is something I have incorporated into my novels. My partner Sarah is actually a far more skilled archer than I am, as Holegn (Robin’s lover) is in my novels.
I assume you have a big interest in the legend of Robin Hood, as you also write books about him. Tell us a bit about those, and how you came to write them. I understand they’re a bit different to most retellings, which is crucial nowadays since the legend has become so well known. Any new version needs something to set it apart from what’s gone before, right?
My first novel, “Robin of The Wood – Legend” was written as a therapeutic exercise to deal with issues I was experiencing at the time. It is a very fantasy-based story with faeries, spirits and lots of magic. For several years I entertained the idea of a sequel or spin-off and eventually began the “Robin of The Wood – Legacy” trilogy which tells what I believe to be a more plausible tale of a man who is persuaded to take on the title and responsibilities of Robin Hood. While there are some fantasy elements, I consider these books more gritty and realistic. I would liken them to George RR Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” novels which inspired the series “Game of Thrones”.
Every memorable reinvention has incorporated new elements which become part of the “canon”. It is my sincere hope that some of the original characters and ideas my novels introduce will become part of the established Robin Hood lore, used by future story-tellers.
What’s your favourite version of Robin Hood, either in books, film, TV or whatever? Personally, I love RoS and the new audio production Knights of the Apocalypse with the old cast was really enjoyable. Have you heard it?
I love RoS but have not heard the new audio adventure. “Prince of Thieves” will always have a special place in my heart as it was really my first Robin Hood interpretation and triggered my passion. I think I would have to call RoS the definitive interpretation ‘though.
I was less keen on the recent BBC series although I thought series 3 was brilliant. Too bad the series was cancelled just as it was becoming brilliant. I thought the portrayal of Robin in the recent Doctor Who episode “Robot of Sherwood” was fantastic and a real positive contribution to the mythos.
Where can people buy your books? Do you sell them in the RHL shop?
They are available on Amazon but the copies available in the RHL shop are exclusive editions with covers that are not available anywhere else.
What do you plan on doing in the future, both with your writing and the RHL attraction? I understand there’s a Grand Opening on the 29th of August?
I plan to finish the Legacy trilogy as well as writing a prequel which will be the same story as “Legend” but told from within the universe of the later trilogy. As for the RHL itself, we plan to constantly evolve, add new artefacts and exhibits. It’s our intention to change the stories the characters tell with the seasons. Our next plan is “Robin’s Christmas Adventure”. The Grand Opening should be a great day with lots of colourful characters and a guest appearance from Councillor Jackie Morris – the real Sheriff of Nottingham!
Have you had much publicity from the media? Radio, newspapers, TV even?
When we opened we had great features in The Nottingham Post and on Notts TV as well as BBC TV and Radio. We’re hoping the Grand Opening will generate more media interest.
I heard mention of a possibility of Phil Rose, who played Friar Tuck in Robin of Sherwood, making an appearance at your shop? That would be great wouldn’t it? He was fantastic in RoS and basically IS the bold friar for many people.
It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of that series for many Robin Hood fans. For so many it was their first exposure to the legend and for many others it has been adopted as the definitive interpretation. Any link to that series can only be positive!
Where can we find out more about RHL and your books?
We are very active on Facebook. I also have my own Amazon page for my books, HERE
Thanks so much to Adam for talking to me, I’m sure my readers will love this new attraction!
Check out the link below for that TV piece mentioned in the Q&A and make sure you visit the next time you and the family are in Nottingham…