The Greatest Show in Town!
Rhys Thomas and his team have proven once again that they have a real knack for bringing original, family-friendly festive fun to Hertford Theatre. The Astonishing Adventures of Pinocchio is a real treat.
Packed with superb songs, charming costumes, outstanding acting and of course, plenty of audience participation, it has everything you want from a Christmas show for all the family.
Right from the very moment the house lights go down, you know this is going to be a perfectly polished performance (the crowd even ‘oooh’d in unison). The set design, the lighting, even the decorations in the foyer, all conjure the atmosphere and excitement of a fairytale (or nursery-rhyme, if Miss Muffet has her way) Christmas.
The cast juggle their roles with apparent ease, each of them talented actors, dancers and singers. And we mustn’t forget the excellent youth ensemble, who prove we have plenty of local talent on their way to the bright lights of the stage in the near future.
If I’m being really picky, a bit more audience engagement straight after the interval might have been helpful, as some of the younger kids were quite restless early on in the second half. Perhaps it’s the fidgeting that comes with being recently fuelled with ice-cream, or perhaps being made to sit still again after the freedom of the foyer wasn’t to their taste. But before we knew it there were donkeys, whales and tubs to thump, and everyone was engrossed once again.
In case you haven’t guessed, we thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so, in fact, that I have a few awards to hand out:
- The Award for Best Hair goes to… Madam Fox (Katherine Victoria). Perfectly-panto-inspired and fabulously in character. Something tells me she probably ran off without paying the hairdresser, though.
- The coveted Big Box o’Toys Audience Participation Prize goes to… Charlie Cricket (Sam Kipling), who did a fantastic job of getting the audience involved right from the word go.
- The Trophy for Wooden Dancing goes to… Pinocchio (Josh Dorn)! We were seriously impressed by his ability to stay in character no matter what the choreographer threw at him.
- The Medal for Most Mischief… was a difficult one for the judges to agree on, with Madam Fox, Miss Muffet (I WISH we’d seen more of her!), and the Coach Driver (Katherine Victoria) all in the mix. But in the end there could only be one winner, so the award goes to Jill (Mina Dahle). She knows why.
- The ‘More Britney Than Britney’ Award goes to Stromboli (Robert Oliver) for a performance oozing flair that even the lady herself couldn’t beat. Delightfully unexpected.
- And finally, the Top Role Model Medal goes to… the Blue Fairy (Kate Playdon), proving that fairies don’t have to be overly-glittery or dressed in a net tutu to be brilliant. If only all fairies wore dungarees…
If you haven’t booked your tickets yet, what are you waiting for? And if you have, can I come and see it again with you? Pleeeease?
About the author
This is a guest post from freelance copywriter, Megan Rose.*
Megan Rose is a tea-drinking copywriter based in Ware, and the winner (mostly) of a daily battle against some pretty independently-minded hair. She works with small businesses, charities and other organisations to help them work out what they need to say, and how to say it with style. When she’s not working you can find her baking, enthusiastically massacring her latest craft hobby or tying herself in knots in front of a Pilates video.
See examples of Megan’s work here: meganrosefreelance.com
Or catch up with her on Twitter @MegRFreelance
*All opinions expressed in this article and related materials are those of the author and are not necessarily shared by HertfordArts. This website is a place to discuss Hertfordshire’s wonderful artists and their work so please feel free to leave a comment below – just please keep it friendly, so we can all enjoy an open, pleasant conversation. Thank you.