The New Magical Adventures of Pinocchio (3 stars)

The Pavilion's panto is all about the broad comic strokes and traditional, unpretentious – and near-the-knuckle – fun

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The New Magical Adventures of Pinocchio

While other pantomimes may err on the side of ironic detachment, there’s no such concern at the Pavilion. Pinocchio is all about the broad comic strokes and traditional, unpretentious – and near-the-knuckle – fun.

Stephen Purdon takes the titular role and plays an extension of his cheeky Shellsuit Bob from River City, but is overshadowed by the vaudevillian comedy styling of Johnny ‘I’m enjoying mahself’ Mac as Jiminy Cricket: Mac establishes a rapport with the audience immediately, and it exploits it for belly laughs. Along with the ensemble musical numbers, it’s Mac who rouses the audience’s enthusiasm.

Joyce Falconer’s Kitty the Kat has fun with the Scots dialect, and camp villain Stromboli is a saucy hybrid of Rentaghost’s Mr Claypole and Russell Brand, played with swagger by James Mackenzie.

Disney is tickled a little, with some of the classic songs aired, including a spirited ‘Give A Little Whistle’, but it’s mostly peppered with pop culture and bawdy Glasgow banter. The second half all but dispenses with the storyline in favour of zippy technicolour multimedia, massive props, pyrotechnics and frantic routines, but it hardly matters when the result is akin to the feeling of having swallowed a psychedelic sugarcube.

Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow, until Sun 19 Jan.

The New Magical Adventures of Pinocchio

Panto fun with Stephen Purdon, Dean Park, Michelle McManus, Joyce Falconer and Johnny Mac.

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