By Tamsin Mathias
The Torch Theatre’s charming Christmas pantomime, Pinocchio, is a show that is most certainly not to be missed by locals and those further afield.
As lovers of the show know, this magical story tells the tale of a little wooden puppet, made by a widowed man named Geppetto in his workshop, who longs to be a real boy.
This production written by Peter Doran, and directed by James Williams, is a perfect way to get into the festive spirit! There’s a slightly different feel to the pantomime this year with James’ directing, but nevertheless, it scores top marks.
Young Will Taylor is the star of the show as Pinocchio, who we have seen at The Torch before in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Taylor brings a fantastic energy to the stage, with wonderful movements that make it seem like he may well be made out of wood!
Taylor is a brilliantly diverse actor, and it’s amazing to see him return to Pembrokeshire in yet another fantastic production.
Dudley Rogers takes on the role of Geppetto, a comical little character that gets the show started for us all with a laugh here and there, and plenty of audience interaction, which is what every pantomime-lover longs for!
The beautiful Jodie Micciché takes on the role of the Blue Fairy, full of light, love and kindness. Her wistful ways and soothing voice are enough to make you feel encapsulated in this magical story, as well as with her beautiful voice. All you need to do is ‘listen’.
Our big baddies of the show, Fox and Cat, played by Dion Davies and Emma Hirons, did an absolutely fantastic job of being bad and scary, yet absolutely hilarious. It’s great to see Davies back for another year at The Torch Theatre, too – and also not as a dame, but as a big mean fox!
Davies and Hirons on stage make a perfect comedy couple, and they work together brilliantly.
Bringing with him a huge element of comedy is Kayed Mohamed-Mason, who switches between playing Lampwick and Jiminy Cricket. As Lampwick, Mohamed-Mason plays a hugely energetic naughty schoolboy, with hilarious facial expressions as well as a brilliant ‘young thug’ posture.
As Jiminy Cricket, Mohamed-Mason brought his charismatic charm and wit, as well as a Latino accent, hindering Pinocchio with his good advice!
The production itself is bright and colourful, full of magic and wonder, with brilliant songs and high energy actors.
Performances commence on Thursday, December 20, and last until Sunday December 30. A BSL Sign Language Interpreted Performance will also take place on Thursday December 20 at 6pm, where a trained transcriber will stand to one side of the stage interpreting the script and language used by the performers as they perform.
There will also be a Relaxed Performance on Saturday December 22 at 2pm, where the panto is adapted with a more relaxed attitude to noise and movement in the auditorium, with the light and sound adjusted in order to reduce anxiety and ensure a safe, enjoyable theatre visit.
Tickets are priced at £18.50 adults and £16.50 concessions. Tickets can be bought online at www.torchthreatre.co.uk or at the Box Office.