The Citizens Theatre has announced that its festive show for 2019 will be Pinocchio, written by Robert Alan Evans and adapted with Lu Kemp, based on the original and much-loved story by Carlo Collodi. The production will be presented at Tramway during the extensive refurbishment of the Citizens Theatre’s Gorbals home.
Following the five-star, critically acclaimed reprisal of A Christmas Carol in 2018 audiences can expect a fun and lively re-telling of the classic tale of Pinocchio, with plenty of the hallmark ingredients that have earned the Citizens Theatre a reputation for creating unique Christmas shows as an alternative to panto for the festive season.
Directed by Artistic Director Dominic Hill, this new Christmas production reunites the talented creative team behind the Citizens’ festive productions of A Christmas Carol and Hansel and Gretel. Designer Rachael Canning and lighting designer Lizzie Powell will bring the stage to life, creating wonderful worlds as Pinocchio travels from his home town of Abbondanza to the tempting lights of Playland, via the dangers of the dark woods and the belly of a giant whale.
An immersive soundscape will be created by Hill’s regular collaborator Nikola Kodjabashia and performed live on stage by the company. As well as previous Christmas shows A Christmas Carol, Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel, Kodjabashia has lent his distinctive style to Hill’s productions of Cyrano de Bergerac, This Restless House, Hamlet and Crime and Punishment in recent years.
Dominic Hill commented, “I’ve always loved the story of Pinocchio – it has a wonderful mixture of silliness, joy and magic with a touch of darkness too and I am delighted to be bringing it to the stage for our family audiences at Christmas this year. With its puppetry, live music and songs I know it will lend itself beautifully to the celebrated Citz style of Christmas storytelling.”
The cast will feature Citz favourites Andy Clark, Irene Allan and Elise De Grey. Taking on the role of Gepetto is Gary Lilburn who will be familiar to many as Sharon’s dad, Des, in the hit Channel 4 series Catastrophe. Gary has also appeared in Silent Witness, Casualty, Mrs Brown’s Boys (all BBC) and on stage in As You Like It (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare’s Globe) and at the Citizens Theatre in 2013 in Dr Faustus.
As part of the theatre’s commitment to nurturing new talent, the Citizens actor intern, Liam King, will star as Pinocchio. Having recently graduated from The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Liam’s internship is funded by the Robertson Trust. Making their Citizens debuts are Helen Katamba and Stephanie Payne, the Citizens’ second actor intern this season.
The Citizens Theatre is delighted to be working again with Urban Union who supported the 2018 Christmas show, A Christmas Carol. Building on the success of last year’s partnership, Glasgow based Urban Union continues to support the Citizens on their journey back to their new building.
Pinocchio will take place at Tramway from 7 December until 4 January. Tickets are on sale now with family tickets starting from just £39 and a range of concessions available.