My Son Pinocchio

Date 1st February 2017
Society Big Bad Wolf Children's Theatre Company
Venue Falkirk Town Hall
Type of Production Musical
Director Lindsay Dowell
Musical Director Jonathan Graham
Choreographer Nadine McKenzie Judge

Report

Author: Elizabeth Donald

With an influx of younger cast and under new direction, this production delivered a truly entertaining evening. Told from the father’s perspective, the storyline of Pinocchio running away to be a puppet star was a perfect vehicle for the youngsters to show their talents. Filter in famous Disney songs and the audience was riveted. The Blue Fairy, (Heather Watkins), took charge immediately and impressed with her voice, grace, good sense and power.  Her Fairies in Training (Jessica Riddoch, Hannah Parsons, Daisy Campbell, Lucy Smith) were a delight both in colour and action and with a wee rebel too. The lead Pinocchio (Duncan Brown) with wonderful wood stockinged legs was a suitably edgy young lad who tugged the heartstrings at the end with his reunion with his father Gepetto the Toy Maker. Gepetto (Lewis Dawson) grew as the role unfolded showing clearly a range of parental emotions including pride, ambition, then bewilderment, hurt and determination in pursuit of his son. Stromboli the puppet master and villain of the piece (Alexandra Kerr) was another strong characterisation - bold in movement, zany in dress and beautiful in song, a dominant presence. All the pairings, Buonoragazzo and Junior, (Callum Allan, Josh Stewart) with their humour, Maria and Bernardo (Jennifer Anderson, Robbie Allan) and Marionettes with the expressive faces(Sarah Williamson, Rowan Brockie)were well matched and brought their own magic to the show.  Ring Leader (Shelby Walker) Animals, Elders, Delinquents, Idyllia Children and all cast - 39 named parts and 32 unnamed - created and maintained belief in their characters.  Dancers were graceful and assured with particular talent in the ballet and acrobatic moves.  Movement was varied and well honed. Singing was true with clear diction and enthusiastic. Orchestra was nicely blended and worked with the singers.  Costumes were splendidly eye-catching and colourful, scenery backcloths and at each side the sets of house and Stromboli cart allowed space for this large cast and were well utilised. Everyone gave a superb account of themselves in this lovely feel good show.  A really magical night. Congratulations to all.