Pinocchio the Musical
Adapted by We are Theatre
Music by Dennis Westgate
Pinocchio the Musical - reviewed by Nick Boardman
Joseph Rowntree Theatre always conjures up images of amateur theatre at its best, groups of talented performers embracing the stage in one of England's most talented cities. We Are Theatre are no exception, pooling together a group who perform like old pros. This is very much an up and coming company who improve every time out.
The companies new musical is Pinocchio and it is performed with enthusiasm. Their enjoyment spills out onto the audience and it feels like they are more of a family than a theatre group, and there in lies their success. The show is full of well rehearsed dance routines, some fantastic acting and, it has to be said, some amazing songs written (mostly) by Dennis A Westgate.
One of the scores written by Olivia Jane Newton, 'Look at Me' is sung by herself and Bethany Anne Middleton, both have voices that wouldn't be out of place on a professional stage. Another voice that really stood out was that of Joseph Robinson.
At times the show seems to be geared to showcasing as much of the groups talent as possible and seems to forget the narrative. This is most evident when we have a sudden jump from a scene where Pinocchio runs away, and next we see him in a whales mouth.
Am I being picky? well yes I think so, because the cast are simply brilliant. It would be unfair to single people out to much because it was a real team effort by a very talented group. I do have to mention the great Punch and Judy Scene with Adrian Spendlow and Sandra Noble, and another leading light was that of Paige Parkinson whose portrayal of the Cat was animated, funny, and performed to perfection through out, and this is matched by Alfie Adnett as the Fox.
Finally I come to Sam Roberts as Pinocchio…well he certainly has the cute factor for the role, to say nothing of raw talent. He carries off his role in a cool and professional manner and maintains a good rapport with his fellow actors and audience through out. A thoroughly enjoyable performance from a very talented young man.
This production is carried off by a very young and talented cast that outshine the adults, who are also top notch it has to be said…Don't miss this original version of an old favourite, you won't be disappointed.
On a personal note, with so many talented youngsters around its good to know the future of Theatre is in good hands.
Pinocchio runs from 25th to 28th June at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre with evening performances at 7.30pm and a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. Tickets are being sold through York Theatre Royal Box office or on the door at performances, priced £13 & £11. For more information visit www.wearetheatre.co.uk or telephone 07521 364107