What do you have to do to become a real boy?
A review by Charli Bruce
The production of Pinocchio that we saw at The Albany Theatre in Deptford was a sweet and playful show for primary school-aged children. It subtly turned the familiar tale of Pinocchio into a modern-day fable about parenting, growing up and gaining trust.
Gepetto the loveable workshop owner craves his own child, he spends his days working on making various puppets, one of which comes alive. The puppet is Pinocchio, a playful and cheeky character who is easily led.
Pinocchio ends up getting into a host of trouble as he gets mixed up in the games that Cat and Fox play, tricking him into giving them his gold coins – not once, but twice. They are trying to fund their way to the big talent show in the city and get some jazzy costumes along the way.
After being tricked into giving his gold coins away Pinocchio runs away and joins the circus, wanting to rectify his wrongs, earn some money and show Gepetto what he has done. On his return he finds out that Gepetto has also been conned into thinking Pinocchio has run away to sea and in the process has been swallowed by a whale.
In the end everything rectifies itself and the moral of the story is as a parent you sometimes have to let your children learn who they are, make their own mistakes and figure out how to right them. The message is also clear that the love between parent and child is so strong that no matter what it will always be there.
One of the things I loved about the show was the fact the message was one that was universal, with adults and children learning something from it. I also adored the set, it was simplistic and mesmerising. Everything rotated around three different backgrounds that could quickly be spun around and changed to suit the scene, this kept the children in the audience entertained and interested which is sometimes hard to do.