REVIEW: Smile Musical Youth Theatre's Pinocchio
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REVIEW: Smile Musical Youth Theatre’s Pinocchio

Review: Smile Musical Youth Theatre’s Pinocchio

Smile Musical Youth Theatre delighted audiences at the Gospel Oak School Theatre with a sensational pantomime, Pinocchio. Penned and directed by Joe Logan, this rendition of the classic tale infused the beloved story with a fresh and charming pantomime twist. Despite Pinocchio being an unconventional choice for a pantomime, it worked remarkably well thanks to the talented cast, writing and mix of musical numbers.

Set against the backdrop of Portofino, the narrative follows Geppetto, a toymaker longing for a real son, who creates Pinocchio, a puppet brought to life by the Blue Fairy. To become a real boy, Pinocchio must prove his bravery and honesty, aided by his loyal companion Jiminy Cricket. However, their quest is threatened by the sinister intentions of the evil circus ringmaster, Stromboli.

Charlie McRobert delivered a stellar performance in the title role, showcasing impressive vocal prowess and sharing touching moments with Charlie Bland’s endearing portrayal of Geppetto. Bland showed excellent characterisation skills and the pair duetted one of the show’s most poignant moments, singing ‘Lay Me Down’. Keisha Riley oozed charisma as Jiminy Cricket, eliciting laughter and demonstrating strong vocal abilities.

Samuel Broomhall Tighe as Lampwick proved to have amazing comic timing and energy throughout, being the backbone of audience participation in multiple places. Taylor Simner courageously stepped in as the Dame, Mama Salama, showcasing professionalism and talent. Simner brought even more humour, expertly provoking the audience. Lauren Slater as Maria brought the house down with her powerful rendition of ‘Independently Owned’ – a true highlight.

Dylan O’Connor as Stromboli brought a menacing performance to the stage – with him leading ‘The Greatest Show’ number – another highlight. Foxy, played by Lola Harper, was a brilliant disciple of Stromboli, along with Eva-Grace Mahay as Catty. The pair developed a unique bond with comedic chemistry and brilliant voices. Josh Mills as Coldstone brought even more evil to the stage, leading ‘Steppin to the Bad Side’ with sinister charm.

Under Joe Logan’s adept direction, the production had plenty of panto charm and humour with seamless pacing. The choreography, skillfully devised by Logan and supported by Sarah Jennings, elevated the musical numbers with a boost of energy. Musical Director Ella Daire uses her musical talent to secure strong vocals from the cast – a credit to her coaching. The lighting design from Going Dark Theatrical was exemplary as always, complementing the well-themed set, costume and sound design.

Congratulations to the Smile cast & crew on their second-ever show and very first pantomime!

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