I don’t know what I was expecting when I sat down to watch Cock Robin, the first film by newly-formed direction duo BobBenedict to see the light, but it certainly wasn’t the intense wave of emotion, humour, and the slick, charismatic production that hit me when I pressed play. The pair, formed of photographer Benedict Morgan (who was responsible for this astounding project) and production designer Sean Hogan (or Bob), re-worked the classic nursery rhyme Who Killed Cock Robin? with a perfectly briefed cast of actors. What’s more, the lot was filmed at the Mansfield Indoor Bowling Club, a distinctly familiar and achingly kitsch location which has since sadly made way for a luxury housing development. The setting absolutely makes the film, elevating the idea to the realm of a finely-polished and well-loved 1970s British TV show rather than a short film.
In the reworked story, Robin’s untimely death takes place at a wedding reception, with the shocked yellow and beige-clad guests sprung upon to plan the funeral while Robin’s poor, newly-widowed wife stands shell-shocked in the corner. Between them they recite the rhyme in such a way that it feels more akin to a darkly-humorous crime film than a seven-minute adaptation of a sweet avian song. Cock Robin is the first in what we hope will be a long line of projects that the director duo have been working on over the last few years, and if the next instalment has anything like the amount of charisma and charm of Robin and his gang, we’re in for a serious treat.