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Review: Books, Theatre, Albums, Movies and Gigs

Pinocchio

The Unity Theatre, Liverpool

Author: Esther Wilson
Director: Paula Simms
Producer: Unity Theatre, Hope Street and ZHO Theatre
Cast Includes: Emma Hirons, Martyn F. Williams, Austin Mitchell Hewitt,
Graham Geoffrey Hicks, Helen Godfrey, Bryan Fewtrell, Alice Robinson,
Running Time: 1 hr15 mins.

Image: Pinocchio promtional image

Unity Theatre Liverpool - official website


As with all pantomime, ninety per cent of the success is dependent upon the audience’s reaction and here, as ninety-nine per cent of the audience was made up of primary school children, the atmosphere was suitably boisterous.

The show itself was excellently performed, with Emma Hirons in the title role being especially notable, along with Martyn F. Williams as Gepetto and Graham Geoffrey Hicks doubling as the puppet’s conscience, Kevin the Cricket, and also Pinocchio’s friend, Lampwick.

As a one act performance, there were some moments when a small child’s attention might have wandered were the teachers not around and there’s a noticeable absence of any innuendo, turning this into a traditionalist’s show more than a rollicking romp. At times it is also quite dark and never more so than when Austin Mitchell Hewitt becomes the Playland Master who, ultimately, kidnaps children so that he can make them work rather than play.

Death is mentioned or referred to a lot in this production but, with that said, there are also plenty of laughs, bangs and special effects to go along with the darkness and, of course, everything turns out all right in the end so that this timeless tale is brought enthusiastically and – on the whole – successfully to life, by a theatre renowned as a proving ground of North West talent.

Chris High

LISTEN to Chris High on BBC Radio Merseyside talk about PinocchioListen to Chris High on BBC Radio Merseyside 31st October 2007

Thursday 06 Dec 2007

Link: Unity Theatre Liverpool official website
www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk


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