Geppetto the woodcarver is the chief storyteller, and a very good one indeed. We meet him living in the stomach of a whale as he recounts how and why he finds himself there. There were perhaps one or two adventures too many along the way, and the show might have benefited from a one or two fewer scenes as there were a couple of points where the pace flagged a bit, but the original and catchy songs were well inserted to help with the flow of the show.The lovely set by Karen McKeown features lots of blues, purples and sparkles and the small stage space was used very creatively, with a set piece which offered plenty of surprises and helped set each location differently. The costumes were bold in colour and also showed great attention to detail, for example the trousers being cut off at the length of a 19th century pantaloons, and tailoring hinting back at the story’s Italian roots.
Sarah Applewood as Volpe (the fox) and Morgan Philpott as Gatto (the cat) are the seductive and silly duo that distract and mislead Pinocchio time after time, mischievous and alluring they were a great little double-act. However, Gabrielle Douglas’ Blue Fairy was disappointing; vocally she was much weaker than the rest of the cast and her characterisation didn’t quite fit with the rest of the ensemble either. The whole cast did an impressive job at multi-rolling though; there were far too many hats to keep count of!A good family Christmas show needs fun, magic and something that gives a good tug on your heartstrings, and The Adventures of Pinocchio with double-disco-balls (just you wait and see!) and bubbles galore is a heartfelt, wonderful and adventurous journey.