Venue, Timing and Cost
The misadventures of Pinocchio, the boy made of wood who longs to be a real child, are brought to the Oxford stage this November in a modern adaptation by Oxford Theatre Guild. Older children and adults both are bound to find this treat of puppetry, physical theatre and original music intriguing, entertaining – and just a little bit scary – as the lonely toy makes his way in a strange world of colourful characters, with not even his wits to fall back on. Family entertainment with a dark twist as the nights draw in.
Kind hearted but poor Gepetto the woodcarver longs to change his fortune so he uses his skills and imagination to carve a wonderful puppet, Pinocchio. Magically the toy comes to life and Gepetto raises the fun-loving boy as his own, with love. Sadly for Pinocchio, despite his dreams and ambitions to be an everyday boy, he is treated as the odd outsider by those around him. Numerous warnings and frightening encounters cannot keep the mischievous lad from telling tall tales and getting into trouble. Pinocchio’s extraordinary trust in everyone he meets, even the thieves and bullies, leads him into the darkest corners of society. Lost, lonely and afraid, it might be too late for him to learn the lessons that his father would have tried to teach him.
Pinocchio was originally written as a fantasy morality tale by its Italian author, Collodi, at a time when parents had strict rules about what good and bad behaviour looked like. In the 21st century the temptations and challenges for our children may have changed but parents still seek control, often leaving kids adrift in a world their mums and dads don’t understand. This performance, devised from the original book with its cast of colourful characters and fantastical adventures, uses puppetry, physical theatre and live music to explore the darker elements of the story. It asks what the costs of manipulation and control are, and questions the value of conformity and obedience.
Will Pinocchio grow to understand, fully, what it is to be human? Or will his strange start in life be too big a hurdle for the wooden puppet to earn his place in his father’s heart as a real little boy? Come and find out…
“Ambitious stuff from the OTG… it all but took my breath away.” – Daily Info on Treasure Island
“Again, OTG are leading the way in amateur theatre” – Oxford Times on Doubt: A Parable