Pinnochio

Date 2nd April 2016
Society B & B Young Peoples Theatre Group
Venue Players Theatre (The Bethel)
Type of Production Youth Musical
Director Alfie Bailey
Musical Director Frankie Ayers (vocals) Mim Coleman
Choreographer Charlotte Wood

Report

Author: Terry Rymer

Imagine a show where two lead characters escape and jump into the sea where they are swallowed by a Whale! A difficult scene to This progressive relatively new Youth Group (4 years) already have one NODA ‘Best Production Award’ under their belt and this could be another contender! It is a story we all know...sort of! But this slant, through the eyes of Gepetto the Toy maker and subsequently Pinocchio’s father, is seldom told. It is a moral tale and not just because Pinocchio’s nose extends if he tells a lie (although there is a twist in the tale!)

  From the outset we are greeted to a useful prologue by the Blue fairy who is interrupted by the cheeky mainstay of this production as he pops his head round the curtain...it’s Gepetto (Joe Flatt) who ages up well from teenager to a mature, perhaps lonely, older man! Bereft of any offspring and in particular, a son, he begs the Blue Fairy to turn his wooden puppet Pinocchio, into a human son...his was a mammoth task and he was faultless throughout with many extremes of emotion from a father’s  devotion to frustrated parent regretting his decision and attempting to get the ‘spell’ reversed. The Blue fairy played with style jointly by (Molly Allington and Lauren Benjamin,) assists with Gepetto’s requests, each in turn bringing their own persona to the proceedings. She is adamant that no such thing should happen; these two have tough jobs and some tricky vocal numbers but coped admirably with the facets of the role. I did observe both double cast teams and enjoyed each in their turn!

 The, again double cast, role of Pinocchio (Olly Hitcham and Oliver Kane) was a real test for these two young actors and each brought a different characteristic to the party! They showed just enough duplicity and emotional blackmail showing the petulant behaviour of a badly behaved child whilst maintaining an innocent and endearing side to their nature, which in the end held sway! Other significant parts included the commanding Stromboli (Alex Day) who as an itinerant Puppeteer was able to show a range of eccentric mannerisms and behaviours which make him the real ‘villain’ of the piece. We loved to hate him!

 A real scene stealer is a machine which is ‘invented’ by a rather inept Magician Buonragazzo ( Joshua Parks) with which he purports to create ‘perfect’ children who actually obey their parents! (hmm... wouldn’t mind shares in that!). He takes Pinocchio in, which leads to a great scene where having misbehaved the ‘perfect’ children turn into donkeys! (Hmm...perhaps not then !). A nice ‘geeky’ scientific cameo from Joshua.  Also  particularly strong in the singing and dancing department were the double cast Fairies in Training (Millie Carver, Daisy-Mae Dua, Precious Smith, Evie Forsdicke, Nerice Flatt, Georgia Horton, Jamie Coleman, Elizaveta Williams,) they were well enough supported by the young, some very young, Company Chorus who will no doubt one day aspire to follow their ambitions and become lead players in their own right. One of whom was The resplendent Ringmaster (Evie Browne). They all added extra ‘sparkle’ to this unusual but entertaining and thought provoking show. The addition of an eight piece live orchestra was a bonus; a few more mikes may have helped the occasionally hard to hear dialogue...or perhaps voice projection needed to be more emphasised... Did I notice one or two younger audience looking a trifle uneasy at the introduction of the ‘Perfect Child’ Machine and subsequent ‘donkey punishment’!? But Gepetto and Pinocchio produce, but they eventually escape (a long ‘nose’ story!) and return to the Toyshop where Stromboli is sent packing  and with apologies all round the Blue Fairy turns Pinocchio into a real boy who lives ‘happily ever after’ and the sign over Gepetto’s shop now reads ‘Gepetto & Son’! Hmm...suspend belief! It’s a fantasy tale and we all enjoyed the journey as portrayed by the whole young Company many of them enjoying their first show on stage with the B& B Theatre Company.  Well done to the whole team!...We look forward to Les Miserable (School Edition) in 2017. 

 

 A real scene stealer is a machine which is ‘invented’ by a rather inept Magician Buonragazzo ( Joshua Parks) with which he purports to create ‘perfect’ children who actually obey their parents! (hmm... wouldn’t mind shares in that!). He takes Pinocchio in, which leads to a great scene where having misbehaved the ‘perfect’ children turn into donkeys! (Hmm...perhaps not then !). A nice ‘geeky’ scientific cameo from Joshua.  Also  particularly strong in the singing and dancing department were the double cast Fairies in Training (Millie Carver, Daisy-Mae Dua, Precious Smith, Evie Forsdicke, Nerice Flatt, Georgia Horton, Jamie Coleman, Elizaveta Williams,) they were well enough supported by the young, some very young, Company Chorus who will no doubt one day aspire to follow their ambitions and become lead players in their own right. One of whom was The resplendent Ringmaster (Evie Browne). They all added extra ‘sparkle’ to this unusual but entertaining and thought provoking show. The addition of an eight piece live orchestra was a bonus; a few more mikes may have helped the occasionally hard to hear dialogue...or perhaps voice projection needed to be more emphasised... Did I notice one or two younger audience looking a trifle uneasy at the introduction of the ‘Perfect Child’ Machine and subsequent ‘donkey punishment’!? But Gepetto and Pinocchio produce, but they eventually escape (a long ‘nose’ story!) and return to the Toyshop where Stromboli is sent packing  and with apologies all round the Blue Fairy turns Pinocchio into a real boy who lives ‘happily ever after’ and the sign over Gepetto’s shop now reads ‘Gepetto & Son’! Hmm...suspend belief! It’s a fantasy tale and we all enjoyed the journey as portrayed by the whole young Company many of them enjoying their first show on stage with the B& B Theatre Company.  Well done to the whole team!...We look forward to Les Miserable (School Edition) in 2017.Imagine a show where two lead characters escape and jump into the sea where they are swallowed by a Whale! A difficult scene to This progressive relatively new Youth Group (4 years) already have one NODA ‘Best Production Award’ under their belt and this could be another contender! It is a story we all know...sort of! But this slant, through the eyes of Gepetto the Toy maker and subsequently Pinocchio’s father, is seldom told. It is a moral tale and not just because Pinocchio’s nose extends if he tells a lie (although there is a twist in the tale!)