Pinocchio (4 stars)


Physical comedy and collaborative effort makes for excellent alternative to mainstream panto

The intimate nature of this seasonal production makes for a wholesome take on Carlo Collodi’s boy puppet tale.

Seemingly one for the Santa-believing contingent of the population (I am rarely ever the tallest person in any room, but was definitely top ten on this occasion), the show is driven by the enthusiasm and range of its performers. Set in the Arches’ studio theatre, the five actors take on multiple roles and adapt the scenery themselves. A true collaborative effort, the team involves the crowd and play up to any high-pitched heckler. Percussion is added to illustrate actions onstage, from guiros to maracas and castanets. All of the sparse singalong numbers feel folk-tinged, due to having a ukulele as their solo accompaniment.

With kiddie-friendly physical comedy in abundance and the odd bit of clever word play for the adults, Pinocchio is an excellent alternative to the mainstream panto season.

The Arches, Glasgow, until Sun 2 Jan


  • 4 stars

A new version of the classic fairytale, adapted by Alan Bissett and Julie Brown and featuring music, song, dance and puppetry. Ages 3+.


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