The tale of Pinocchio is given a festive twist this December, as part of the Citizens Theatre, running until 4th January 2020. A Citizens Theatre production in association with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, this prodution which at times borders panto (there is audience participation, be warned) is a warm-hearted tale, ideal for rekindling the festive magic of this time of year.

With wonderful direction by Dominic Hill, there were times when you could almost forget that puppetry was involved in this production. The written adaptation for the stage by Robert Alan Evans from the Carlo Collodi orginal is wonderful, pulling in some festive elements, as well as a wonderful setting and context to the production.

As with the original tale, we follow the mischievous Pinocchio on his journey from wooden puppet to real boy, and there is much to anticipate throughout the production from the wise words of Jiminy Cricket to the donkey effect in Playland.

Gary Lilburn as the kind Geppetto is marvellous, Andy Clark and Stephanie Payne as Fox and Cat, as well as several fringe characters throughout the production are strong, and Liam King as Pinocchio is wonderful, depicting the character ideally through the puppet, and then also as himself as the impossible happens. A truly kind and moral tale, this production is ideal for the festive period, as it highlights the significance of telling the truth and what it means to be truly human.

Full of magic, song and Italian folklore, this production is loyal to the original tale and yet, adds a festive element that will throw is some extra sparkle for the kids this Christmas. With great performances, quirky sound effects and wonderful direction on the puppet side from Elisa de Grey (who also plays Maria), there is much for not just the kids to enjoy.

Photo courtesy of Tim Morozzo

Pinocchio runs until 4th January at the Citizens Theatre, which is presently The Tramway whilst the theatre building undergoes refurbishment.