Peta Dennis - Pinocchio
The Tobacco Factory Theatre
10 December 2010 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews The Adventures of Pinocchio, by writer Toby Farrow, is a completely new imagining of the oft-told Carlo Collodi story of the little wooden boy whose nose grows whenever he tells a lie. Perhaps the most famous version of this fairy tale is the 1940 Disney animated movie, which lightened the original text, and developed the more Disney friendly characters, like Pinocchio’s conscience, Jiminy Cricket.
Farrow’s production goes back to the feel of Collodi’s original story as a basis for an almost completely original text. And what he achieves is a stunning new production which, while still being recognisably a children’s fable, is a very successful self-aware comic fantasy for grown-ups. In the programme notes, Farrow tells that he is not afraid to include elements that might go over the children’s heads as they are fascinated by adult interaction, and he pulls this off superbly, giving a rich context to the narrative without ever excluding the children from the fun. He cleverly utilises some of the more memorable ideas introduced by the famous cartoon, and puts a brilliant theatrical spin. The re-invention of Jiminy Cricket as Jimmy the Cricketer, a result of a misfired spell by the Blue Fairy, is inspired, and the comedy works at many levels.
Andy Burden, the small cast are captivating, revelling in multiple roles and in the upbeat and witty original songs, by composer Pete Judge. Peta Dennis is enchanting as Pinocchio, making the wooden boy’s journey absolutely real, from his first faltering steps as a puppet, with his inquisitive nature and wilful disobedience, on his quest to become a real boy. Felix Hayes (as Jimmy, amongst other characters) was a delight to watch, as were Krissi Bohn, Eoin Slattery, Hannah Summers and Mark Ross, in a myriad of perfectly drawn characters.
But perhaps eclipsing all else, the stunningly simple but effective designs of
Harriet De Winton, take us from one magical land to the next: Linguini Land, where pasta grows on trees, to the belly of a whale, via Macaroni’s Circus, and Gelati Land, where little boys who eat too much ice cream turn into an ass!
The Tobacco Factory is a stunning venue, and produces a rich stream of quality productions throughout the year and
The Adventures of Pinocchio is a fitting end to another great season to a close. Exhilarating and enchanting by turns, you won’t find a better Christmas show around. - by Simon Cole Related Content Back to Southwest Homepage
Subscribe to our free newsletter
Featured Editor's Picks
: The economic impact of Arts & Culture in the UK Infographic When Culture Secretary Maria Miller called for the arts to make their "economic case" for subsidy, t... Plays Cast: Harry Potter star in Southwark Moment, more for Branagh's Macbeth Bonnie Wright, best known for playing Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films, will make her stage d... Brief Encounter with ... The Kite Runner's Ben Turner Ben Turner stars in the stage version of the bestselling book The Kite Runner, which runs at Liverpo... Titus Andronicus (RSC) This latest production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, to borrow from football punditry, is a p... : Britain's outdoor theatres Take Five With half-term approaching, the weather (hopefully) set to improve for the bank holiday weekend and ... West End Live returns to Trafalgar Square next month West End Live, a weekend of free entertainment from top London shows, will return to Trafalgar Squar... : 'I carry the ghost of Gregory Peck on my shoulders' Robert Sean Leonard Actor Robert Sean Leonard is currently playing Atticus Finch in Timothy Sheader's production of To K... To Kill A Mockingbird Twenty years ago, a young Robert Sean Leonard appeared on the London stage with Alan Alda in... X Factor musical titled I Can't Sing!, opens Palladium March 2014 The forthcoming X Factor musical will be called I Can't Sing! The Musical and will premiere at the L... Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new p...