Welcome to austerity panto. This glorious production of Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio , adapted by Robert Alan Evans and Lu Kemp and written by Evans, is truly a show for our times.
Geppetto (a wonderfully lugubrious but hilarious Gary Lilburn) is a puppet maker fallen on hard times. “Maybe I’ll just open up a juice bar”, he grumbles, as the decline in sales mean he is being left behind, an also-ran.
Of course, we know the rest, but, this being a classic Dominic Hill production, there’s a nod to commedia dell’arte and David Lynch’s The Elephant Man.
Striking the perfect balance between sweet and dark, the nature of child exploitation is explored as the wooden boy longs to feel love and learns painful life lessons along the way.
Elegant support from Irene Allan as the glam but nefarious Florenzina keeps the dads happy, and Elisa De Grey is a heartwarming Maria, with wonderful Helen Katamba as a couthy Cricket.
Andy Clark and Stephanie Payne as Fox and Cat bring spiv energy and malevolent chuckles, while Liam King providing the titular role behind Rachael Canning’s gorgeous puppet is mischievous,lovable and full of heart.
As with Nikola Kodjabashia’s endlessly inventive sound design, it’s as much about dissonance as harmony, no strings attached.
At Tramway Glasgow until 4th January,2020.