Pinocchio is an overly familiar tale, however Pants on Fire present it in an unfamiliar way. This production takes influence from science-fiction, B-movies and American Culture presenting it with glaringly large puppets and a Dubstep soundtrack.
Dubstep during an early afternoon theatre performance may seem a bit out of place but it works within the bizarre and exaggerated world that Pants on Fire have created. Bad American accents are apparent for the duration of the performance and American clichés are littered throughout. Occasionally the cast cutaway from the story to advertise a product, such as bug spray or detergents. Sometimes these segments advertise an object to help Pinocchio on his journey and occasionally they are just for laughs. The comedy generally comes from the versatile cast and their interactions with one another. Costume changes and a variety of strange and diverse characters come and go and the performers rarely miss a comedic beat.
Peter Bram's interpretation of a story most audiences will be familiar with is commendably written and directed. The dialogue raises laughs, but there are very few surprises during the performance. The puppetry itself was extravagant, with a large grasshopper almost taking over the stage and dwarfing everything else. The walls were moved around the stage to create a variety of locations including Geppetto's living room, a marionette theatre and the inside of a large sea monster. Video projections and occasionally animations were projected onto the back drop to further give us a sense of this crazy and exuberant world.
Pants on Fire's Pinocchio did feel a lot longer than its hour and fifteen minute duration. However if you enjoy Dubstep and madness at one o'clock in the afternoon then you may find that this is the show for you.