Audio - Fitzwarren’s Well

Maid Marian looking thoughtful

It's Robin of Sherwood but not as we know it as Steve Taylor-Bryant listens to the latest release from Spiteful Puppet, Robin of Sherwood: Fitzwarren's Well...


A few years ago a wonderful thing happened, something I didn’t know I wanted but now couldn’t be without; Spiteful Puppet, under the influence of its mad chinbeard Barnaby Eaton-Jones, resurrected Robin of Sherwood

Not only did they start producing quality audio stories with the characters of my childhood, they managed to bring together most of the original cast and so began the “who was the best Robin?” conversations in my head I’d last had around age eleven. But it wasn’t just about hearing Michael Praed or Jason Connery in my earholes, or my delight at Nickolas Grace returning as, and I know this is a bold statement after Alan Rickman’s turn, the best Sheriff of Nottingham ever, it was the writing that impressed most. The stories were deep and rich, complex and yet comfortable, and cinematic in their narrative. As you listened you saw, after just a few minutes of having your headphones on you could picture the events as they happened and it was almost as good as watching an original episode. And now there is another one to add to my collection with Jennifer Ash’s Maid Marion centric Fitzwarren’s Well. One of the things that unfortunately never happened in the original RoS television show was that the characters surrounding either Robin never really took centre stage, they were perfect companions for the titular character but Marion in particular never really got a story in which she could truly shine despite how wonderful she was played by Judi Trott. With no Robins at all in the story would the world feel as rich as the previous audio released?


Yes, my word yes! The story was compelling and, clocking in at around 45 minutes, seemed to fly by, with Trott leaving me wishing that Fitzwarren’s Well had happened on screen back in the day. Trott just oozes class and the years since her television appearances just dropped off and my near forty five year old brain disappeared back into its childhood as the story unfolded. Standing in for Ray Winstone as Will Scarlett was, once again, voice genius Jon Culshaw but never did I believe it wasn’t my Will which is astonishing and deserves all the plaudits. Not content with producing and directing this mini epic, Barnaby Eaton-Jones pops up as the villain and what a villain he is, and the added childhood love of Sarah Greene as the Lady of the Well and a cameo by Ian Ogilvy rounds out a superb cast telling an absolutely fantastic story.

I know audios are often recorded without a full cast being in the room together but there normally is at least the added tool of the same studio, however Fitzwarren’s Well was recorded during the UK Coronavirus lockdown so I think a round of applause is deserved for Joseph Fox who put together everyone’s remote recordings on different equipment and still made the audio sound like it was done all together in a lavish and expensive recording studio.

Taking the chance of releasing a Robin of Sherwood audio without a Robin turned out to be a good thing and I can only hope future stories are planned for the Merry Men to shine without their more famous leader, but if I have to listen to more Jason Connery or Michael Praed that’ll be okay too.

Robin of Sherwood: Fitzwarren’s Well is on general release as an exclusive digital download only, from Spiteful Puppet’s website (www.spitefulpuppet.com) – alongside a range of other Robin of Sherwood audios and books.

Richard Carpenter’s ROBIN OF SHERWOOD

‘FITZWARREN'S WELL’ By Jennifer Ash

Starring JUDI TROTT as Maid Marion
Featuring JON CULSHAW, SARAH GREENE and IAN OGILVY,
With DANIEL ABINERI and BARNABY EATON-JONES

Artwork: Anthony Lamb
Sound Design: Joseph Fox
Soundtrack: Arpeggio Creative
Produced & Directed by Barnaby Eaton-Jones

Television series Robin Of Sherwood © HTV/Goldcrest Films & Television 1983. Created by Richard Carpenter, with grateful thanks to his Estate.