Review: Pinocchio, Unicorn Theater – All Theater –



Pinocchio at the Unicorn Theater is a work of contrasts: the real and the unreal, the truth and the lie, parents and children, good and evil. It’s a colorful and dynamic show with a great cast, but in the end it seems like it needs a little more work to strike an overall balance. The message is certainly timely, when we routinely hear broken promises and hoaxes in the news. What do we tell our children about the truth and about being yourself? Here, it is that the way you carry yourself says more about you and your relationship with others than words ever…

Classification


Okay

An energetic and colorful Christmas show with a talented and enthusiastic cast. It’s a shame that his songs are a bit disappointing.

pinocchio in the Unicorn Theater It is a game of contrasts: the real and the unreal, the truth and the lie, parents and children, good and evil. It’s a colorful and dynamic show with a great cast, but in the end it seems like it needs a little more work to strike an overall balance.

The message is certainly timely, when we routinely hear broken promises and hoaxes in the news. What do we tell our children about the truth and about being yourself? Here, it is that the way you behave says more about you and your relationship with others than words. Even when your word is doubted, the reality of your actions will reveal integrity.

peyvand sadeghian he is a charming Pinocchio. His physical performance as the wooden boy is energetic and charming, striking a delicate balance between childlike naivety and unabashed mischief. Pinocchio’s relationship with his father is charming, and in another binary it’s interesting to see Geppetto (played with impressive sensitivity by tom kanji) struggling to learn to be a father just as his son struggles to learn to be good. Writer eva leigh creates sympathetic conversations that illuminate both sides of the story, contrasting individuals’ truths and gently offering different ways of understanding.

There’s a fun listening engagement, with susan harrison, in particular, as Marmalade the cat who warms up the public with ease and charisma. Harrison also does a great job acting as the narrator, stylishly delivering some great comedic one-liners.

For me the star of the show is undoubtedly a large Dogfish puppet, beautifully designed by chris pirie and performed with great enthusiasm by sam payment. If she has never heard an entire audience of young children scream at a monstrous glow-in-the-dark fish, she simply hasn’t lived. They loved it!

The production is beautifully designed by Pants Chan. A subtle reminder of Collodi’s original novel is printed around the stage and on Pinocchio’s costume, there are sparkles of glitter. The set includes good mobility, including an excellent alpine village that moves around on a toy train. There is also an interesting sound design from ed clarke which makes amazing use of the entire auditorium. For the most part, though, the show sits comfortably in a colorful but not entirely groundbreaking world. One exception is a striking scene in which the Duchess, magnificently played by eleanor wild, is scaled to the ceiling in a robe of false ermine; he is reminiscent of the tricky wizard hiding behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz.

It’s the songs on the show that might need some work. There are just a few, none of which are entirely memorable, then a grafted Christmas chorus at the end for the audience to join in on. It might be better to have more or nothing at all, as what we got felt pretty subpar. Also, it doesn’t really seem like Pinocchio has much of a journey. He doesn’t face enough challenges to demonstrate significant evolution himself, and the different locations aren’t staged with much distinction, making it a fairly limited adventure.

That being said, this is a highly entertaining seasonal show with a very talented cast and an upbeat and supportive message. A little more investment in the songs would enhance the already dynamic audience engagement to make it even better.


Adapted by: Eve Leigh
Directed by: Justin Audibert
Design by: Jean Chan
Movement and Puppet Direction by: Laura Cubitt
Lighting Design By: Ric Mountjoy
Composed by: Barnaby Race
Sound design by: Ed Clarke
Puppet design and creation by: Chris Pirie
Associated Design by: Pip Terry
Puppet Maker: Izzy Bristow
Blink and Twinkle: Nick Willsher

Pinocchio plays at Unicorn Theater until December 31, 2022.





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