Pinocchio

Date 17th January 2015
Society Alnwick Theatre Club
Venue The Playhouse, Alnwick
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Sophie Towers
Musical Director Jimmy Dodds
Choreographer Sophie Towers

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Author: Kathryn Curry

It is always a treat to see a show in Alnwick Playhouse, and for a pantomime it is an excellent venue as audience participation is so vital to the success of this kind of entertainment as this theatre lends itself perfectly.  This long-established group ‘Alnwick Theatre Club’ opted to step outside the mainstream with this original production of ‘Pinocchio’ scripted by the director Sophie Towers. The Script was fresh and entertaining, and there were lots of good characterisations from the actors to keep us thoroughly entertained.

The authentic set and good choice of musical numbers did much to create the atmosphere for the show, and the fact that as soon as ‘Stromboli’, played by Trevor Hughes, walked on stage in the prologue, the audience recognised him as the villain, says much for the costuming and the way in which the actors had been coached in their parts.  The show moved along at a good pace, greatly assisted by the clear narration of Matt Bush, and broadly followed the traditional ‘Pinocchio’ story, with a good number of enjoyable digressions to include some of the usual pantomime antics.  Indeed, sometimes the plot moved so fast it was difficult to keep up!  The cast were obviously enjoying themselves and this enthusiasm was embraced by the audience.

The comedy double act ‘Julio’, played by Nick Lewis, and ‘Geordio’, played by Andrew Cane, was a very good combination and they were successfully supported by ‘Jimmy Cricket’, played by Peter Lewis.  Apart from the comedy, Lisa Gladstone was the principal girl, ‘Penne Pasta’, and her singing was sweet and clear.  Once again Helen Gee chose to play her role as ‘Pinocchio’ in her unique style, and this worked well.  ‘Blue Rinse Fairy’ was very well acted by Fiona Cuthbert, and her clear voice kept us on top of the magical side of the plot. ‘Dame Barbina Pasta’, played by Jimmy Dodds, was very entertaining. The supporting cast all gave their best and the show was performed in good pantomime tradition, backed by the chorus who were enthusiastically led by Peter Biggers.

Joanne Burn choreographed one of the highlights of the show, showcasing her dancers from the Alnwick Academy of Dancing.  It would be lovely to see them featured even more in future productions, as they were delightful and so talented.  Costumes were colourful and appropriate, and with efficient scene changes and good lighting of the set, it was obvious that the audience had a very good time and a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Congratulations to all for a successful show.