Sunday 12th July 11.00
Tobacco Factory Theatre
The Tobacco Factory Theatre is renowned for its excellent programming and intelligent theatre for both adults and children. Indefinitearticles are a fine example of this, with puppetry and storytelling at the heart of their Pinocchio production. They create a magical shadowy world that is both inventive, creative and captures the imagination of the young children it is aimed at.
Chopsy Baby asked theatre newbies dad Daniel Hugh and seven-year-old daughter Nicola to make their very first theatre visit to see if they could be tempted into the exciting world of innovative theatre, seeing how they got on with a version of Pinocchio that was not sugar sweetened by Disney.
“We were asked to go and see a live version of the classic story Pinocchio, told through puppetry. Although Nicola knew the Disney version I was unsure if this one would scare her into stopping telling lies, as seven-year-olds so frequently do. This was our first visit to a theatre and I was not very sure what to expect. We queued up and waited for the doors to open. Being about twelve people from the front I thought at least we would get a chance to sit in a seat that helped us to see all that was going to happen. No sooner had the doors opened but the pushers charged to the front somehow and the invisible jumper posse filled up the seats they wanted for their friends.
“As the auditorium started to fill up the main performer was entertaining the kids by being silly on his work bench. Little did we know that all those objects were to be the puppets for the show.
“The lights dimmed and the show started and the sweet bags started to rustle.
“Geppetto started to talk and interact with the audience asking if anyone knew what was special about the 2nd of August. One north mum screamed out “The Bristol Harbour Festival” to which he said “No but nice plug”. The kids started to shout “Your birthday” which I expect came from one of the other parents first. He said “Yes” and then went around and asked a few kids what they would like if it was their birthday on that day. The replies were red motorbike, plane, holiday and a cake. I was impressed that later in the performance he managed to incorporate the answers the children had given him into the play.
“The show was a great example of initiative and creativity with everyday objects, including using an overhead projector to create snow. We both loved Gepetto using a green clothes peg as the talking cricket and then after an accident with the peg using a white one as the crickets ‘ghost’. He also used a pen and a dustpan and brush as the fox and two saws as the whales mouth and teeth.
We both really enjoyed the show and think it must be a Tobacco Factory hit. I think the kids all behaved beautifully it was just a shame the few pushy parents couldn’t do the same.
“Nicola really did enjoy going. As she is not quite used to this social environment and the etiquette that goes with it, I think she did struggle with the hour though other younger children didn’t.
“I would definitely take her again as it’s a valuable experience that I felt was important for my daughter to experience. Nicola loved going to theatre and I loved taking her.”