Austin McCormick’s bilingual operatic dance remix of Carlo Collodi’s classic delivers a mash-up of genres frequently seen fused on the Fringe stage, but rarely this well.
Pinocchio, the wooden boy, sets off for his first day at school, but an amorous encounter with an enchanting Blue Fairy, leads him astray. Burlesque, S&M and gay and straight sex form the backdrop to ‘Pleasure Island’, a decadent Venetian Carnival and depraved paradise, where Pinocchio is made to perform for spectators like a slave.
Baroque choreography, eclectic music, Pop Culture, Opera, burlesque, ballet, gender-bending, high fashion, and sumptuous design ensure that this feast for the eyes succeeds in entertainment that’s both highbrow and accessible. Cutting-edge, yet extravagantly classical. This will be enjoyed by most, though a basic grasp of the Pinocchio story will deliver the best results.
Seen during a preview on the second day of the Fringe run, there were sadly one or two sound problems. Also, as other audience members later commented, there were “some interesting lighting decisions”. One doesn’t usually come to the theatre needing a torch. Finally, the full stage, and therefore much of the action, couldn’t be seen by many in the audience in seats not near the central aisle.
However this was a Preview and these quibbles will be addressed. And when they are, Pinocchio: A Fantasy of Pleasures will doubtless be a five star show.