Review: Pinocchio at The Old Rep, Birmingham

by Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour

Pinocchio at The Old Rep

Written by Toby Hulse and Directed by Alec Fellows-Bennett.

Pinocchio is at The Old Rep Theatre in central Birmingham until Sunday 30th December and is a great adventure for those with young families and school classes.

In its 105 year history the building of The Old Rep has played host to many Shakespeare thespians under its previous incarnation as Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Its location, less than one minutes walk from Birmingham New Street Station, makes it ideal for an afternoon out. For me it is fitting that its focus on youth theatre and entertaining families and the young is its current remit (with some comedy nights thrown in for good measure.)

Pinocchio at The Old Rep Photo by Anda Latsa
Pinocchio at The Old Rep Photo by Anda Latsa

It has been soo long since I have seen a production of Pinocchio that I couldn’t even recall the story and I’ve never seen the Disney film all the way through.

The story begins in a (Midlands?) town where Geppetto the toymaker (Ralph Birtwell) wants a child, he’s a bit picky about this as he actually wants a son! So probably as a bit of a punishment he gets a talking piece of wood from the Blue Fairy (Daisy Ann Fletcher) which he quickly carves into Pinocchio (Holly Sayer). After Pinocchio skips out of school, he visits a puppet theatre where Mangiafuoco (David Alwyn) gives him some gold pieces for his performance and sheer talent.Then Pinocchio is tricked by Fox (Martin Bassindale) into burying his gold instead of taking it home to Gepetto…

Pinocchio at The Old Rep Photo by Anda Latsa
Pinocchio at The Old Rep Photo by Anda Latsa

There are lots of comedic and musical moments in this fun and easy going tale, Daisy Ann Fletcher almost steals the show in her disguises as the fairy but the other actors give her a run for her money. Holly Sayer’s movements as a wooden puppet are precise creative. The cast is rounded out by students from Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA) and it is great to see own grown talent being displayed on stage. The script is full of self aware moments; including a song about changing the theatre set. There were a couple of extra chances to get the audience to shout things out that perhaps could be picked up on in future shows.

Pinocchio at the Old Rep photo by Anda Latsa
Pinocchio at the Old Rep photo by Anda Latsa

My plus one Viv, had not been to this theatre before and was in awe of its history, as well as enjoying the production.

This lovely show is on until Sunday 30th December at the Old Rep and tickets can be booked at via the website here: oldreptheatre.co.uk


This isn’t a sponsored post. #BrumHour was invited to see Pinocchio at the invite of the PR.

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