Pinecone Penguin Theatrical’s
Pinecone Penguin Theatrical is clearly an imaginative group, but they need to channel their creativity into a sharper production.
Heartwood holds an important message for young people: that they have the strength within themselves to face life’s challenges. These lessons about courage and resilience are incredibly valuable, but Heartwood lacks the momentum needed to communicate them inspirationally. Meeting the woodland creatures feels more like plodding through names on a list than an unexpected journey and every scene seems dragged out. The shows has brief moments of intrigue. Artful Dodger-type street pedlar named Mr Mungo brings much animation to the stage, whilst a Queen Hornet bossing about her subordinates is amusing. The puppetry of Eleanor may be nothing radical, but it adds some magic to an otherwise flat production.
Though the ending is powerful and inspiring, attention will probably have been lost by that stage. The show is far from a lost cause,however. Its songs are fun and the touching exploration of bereavement is moving. Pinecone Penguin Theatrical is clearly an imaginative group, but they need to channel their creativity into a sharper production.