NEWS: ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES (ALAN RICKMAN TRIBUTE) @ NEWCASTLE CASTLE | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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One of the most legendary screen villains of all time – and one of our generation’s finest ever actors – the late, great Alan Rickman is set to be commemorated with a charity screening of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves at Newcastle Castle on Easter Monday 28th March. £2 from each ticket sale is being donated to Marie Curie Hospice, Newcastle, in aid of people with a terminal illness and their families getting the very best care and support.

The 1991 box office smash, starring Kevin Costner as the eponymous hero, is being shown in the Great Hall of the Castle Keep – a building that predates the setting of the famous legend by some fifteen years. The year is 1194 and King Richard the Lionheart is held prisoner in the Holy Land. Naturally, it is up to Robin of Locksley and his Merry Men to defend the realm in their sovereign’s absence and raise the booty to ensure his safe return.

Although infamous today for its American accents and questionable Bryan Adams theme song, Prince of Thieves is, in truth, a rather brilliant old-fashioned yarn – with explosive action, as well as performances from latter-day Hollywood superstars Christian Slater and Morgan Freeman.

Rickman, of course, steals the show as the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham who plots to forcibly marry Maid Marian, ban Christmas and even vows to cut his enemy’s heart out with a spoon! Coming three years after Hans Gruber in Die Hard (incredibly Rickman’s first film role), he excels as the camp, but never less than captivating Sheriff, who – in an interesting spin on the character – has an intriguing preoccupation with both the occult and rudimentary torture devices. “Why a spoon, cousin? Why not an axe?” he is quite reasonably asked at one point.

“Because it’s DULL, you twit. It’ll hurt more,” comes the endlessly quotable response.

The screening coincides with Marie Curie’s month-long Great Daffodil Appeal 2016, and daffodil badges will be available to buy for a small donation at the event. There will also be a pre-film Robin Hood Mega-Mix and costumed characters from the Castle’s very own Black Gate Combat Academy will be in attendance with their weapons.

With many of us still in shock following Rickman’s tragic passing from cancer, this seems a fitting way to salute his legacy and support a great cause in the process. Whether you know him best as a German terrorist, Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher or medieval cutlery fiend, Alan Rickman and his films are destined to go down in history.

Tickets for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (Alan Rickman tribute) go on sale on the evening of Tuesday 19th January.

The screening takes place at Newcastle Castle on Monday 28th March at 5.30pm.

To find out more about the Great Daffodil Appeal 2016, visit the Marie Curie website.

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