The National Theatre
2.12.2017 (2nd Preview performance)
The story sticks very close to source. For me, having not read the book, that’s the Disney movie.
The songs, however, seem out of place but find new homes that fit well within the production.
It always has been a dark tale, and this interpretation is now exception. Even the joyous laughs and giggles from little ones can’t avert your mind from the evil that follows Pinocchio or the pain Geppetto feels.
It’s a wonderful ensemble of talented actors and puppeteers with stand out performances from Joe Idris-Roberts and Audrey Bisson who play Pinocchio and Jiminy Crickey respectively.
Idris-Roberts gives his all, and is anything but wooden as the young puppet on a mission to become a real boy. On, or off strings, he will charm you and disarm you. It’s Idris-Roberts who has me gearing for a second viewing.
Then there is the wonderful and playful Audrey Bisson. She plays and operates Jiminy Cricket; Pinocchio’s conscience. She has a delightful sense of timing and humour, bringing a wonderful and playful tone to the play.
Production (music, set, costume, lighting)
This was a beautiful set that used the lighting to give the audience a sense of size.
The use of puppetry was quite simply breathtaking.
The highlight for costumes for me was the Fox. Such a stunning outfit, complete with platform shoes to provide added height.
I hope to see this play again before it finishes in March.