Friday, 15 February 2019

Historic children’s tale has no strings attached

Historic children’s tale has no strings attached

A NEW adaptation of the classic children’s tale
The Adventures of Pinocchio is being staged at the Kenton Theatre in Henley next week.

Inspired by Carlo Collodi’s fantastical book, this vibrant retelling is packed with comedy and audience interaction and also has an original score.

It is presented by Immersion Theatre, which is returning to the New Street venue after last year’s sell-out Jungle Book production.

There will be three performances, next Friday (February 15) at 6pm and next Saturday (February 16) at 11am and 2.30pm.

The original story of Pinocchio was penned by Collodi in 1883. The title character is a wooden puppet carved by Geppetto, a lonely carpenter who longed for a son.

Pinocchio magically comes to life and he dreams of becoming a real boy but develops a tendency to lie, which causes his nose to grow, leading him into trouble.

On his travels he comes face-to-face with enemies Cat and Fox while the Blue Fairy regularly appears to admonish him to avoid bad behaviour in order to turn his life around.

James Tobias, director and executive producer, says it will be fun for all the family.

He said: “It is a brand new musical adaptation with heaps of audience interaction. It is not just for children, it is for the whole family. Parents won’t be sitting there getting bored.

“There is a lot of comedy in various forms, including sketches and slapstick but also shadow puppetry as we look to give our audiences different techniques and variety in what they are seeing.”

James, who wrote the show, says the storyline is true to the original text but is still instantly recognisable by those who remember the classic Disney film from the Forties.

He said: “Pinocchio is a very well-known and much loved story so all the situations that he finds himself in are what people will expect from the book and also from the Disney film version.

“It is nowhere near as dark as the original story or as light and fluffy as the Disney version. We have worked to stay true to the original but it has hints of the Disney version because that is what everybody will know.

“Some of my favourite scenes we are doing are when Pinocchio searches for his father in the sea and gets swallowed up by the whale and there is a schoolroom scene with lots of running around through the audience. There are so many moments that are going to live long in the memory.”

The cast will be mingling with the audience before the show starts and afterwards they will get a chance to meet with them and have their photograph taken.

James added: “We have quite a unique style and we have very loyal audiences who expect a pantomime vibe. These shows are a fantastic introduction to family theatre, which we are passionate about.”

• Tickets are £12 for adults and £10 for children from the Kenton box office on (01491) 575698 or visit www.kenton
theatre.co.uk

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