Pinocchio review: National Theatre

The episodic tale remains intact. Poor puppet-maker Geppetto longs for a son and makes a wish for one of his puppets to turn into a real boy.

Pinocchio comes woodenly alive but has to be tested through a series of adventures and misfortunes to prove he deserves the ultimate transformation into flesh and blood.

John Tiffany, director of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, brings all his gifts of illusion to Dennis Kelly’s script.

A blue flame floats around the stage seemingly unaided, Pinocchio’s nose grows like an extending ladder and enormous puppets sometimes seem more human than the actors.

Original songs such as Give A Little Whistle, An Actor’s Life For Me and When You Wish Upon A Star get a light makeover from Martin Lowe who also supplies some appealing new songs of his own.

The Pleasure Island sequence, for example, illustrates the perils of underage drinking and smoking as the guilty parties turn into donkeys.

Joe Idris-Roberts as Pinocchio dances, prances and fibs with enthusiasm but the bad guys – David Langham’s Fox and Gershwyn Eustache Jnr as circus owner Stromboli – steal the show. 

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Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

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