Orange Tree Theatre – 31st December
Reviewed by Carly Burlinge
Pinocchio is the story of Hugo (Nathan Queeley-Dennis) a boy who is frustrated and lonely as all he wants is a little attention from his Mum Ang (Fiona Drummond). The play itself is based around COVID and Hugo feels very isolated as he doesn’t feel like a real boy. He can’t do the normal day to day things that he would normally do – going out and seeing friends like ordinary boys would. In fact, all Interaction seems to be at a minimum even with mum when she doesn’t have the time because she’s working from home and the telephone keeps ringing. Taking her away from Hugo along with her attention too! As a compromise Mum decides to make Hugo his very own Pinocchio out of craft. Then things get strange when a magical blue fairy turns up turning Hugo into Pinocchio so that he can go on many adventures accompanied by his Toy Dinosaur Angus that also comes alive! But with great adventure becomes great responsibility! Watch Hugo go exploring thinking it will make him super happy. However, he soon realises that maybe he had everything he really needed at the start. Sometimes you just need to work these things out for yourself!
This production was truly a magical one, offering so much to a young audience from great adventures to so much interaction. Making paper planes and launching them to snowball fights. There was so much visual excitement and enjoyment through lights, bubbles fabulous paper puppets. Not to mention the acknowledgement of how we have all coped with emotions through this hard time. What I really liked was how they overall discussed COVID and how many of us have felt during this period a good understanding for children to hear.
All in all, the list goes on for such a lovely beautiful production that every child as well as adults will enjoy and appreciate. Just amazing.