Following grandad for a Little role

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When Tom Renshaw took the role of Little John in The Dukes outdoor production of Robin Hood he was following in some large footsteps – his grandad’s.

For Ray Grindall, Tom’s grandad, played the great outlaw’s sidekick 20 years ago – in Sherwood Forest.

Tom remembers going to see his 6ft 4ins grandad in the amateur version of Robin Hood when he was a child growing up in Retford, 16 miles from Sherwood Forest, the outlaw’s legendary home.

And it was his grandad’s love of theatre that inspired Tom to take up acting as a career.

“My grandad was obsessed with theatre and played all sorts of roles, even a panto dame. He saw me play the dame myself some years later,” said Tom, 27.

Sadly, Ray died seven years ago so never got to see Tom in The Dukes new adaptation of Robin Hood which is being staged in Williamson Park until August 17.

Being born in ‘Robin Hood Country’, Tom has grown up surrounded by tales of the great outlaw and due to his height – he’s 6ft 7ins – always thought he might play Little John one day.

“It’s been on my tick list,” said Tom.

To book tickets for Robin Hood, ring The Dukes box office on 01524 598500 or visit