Pinocchio

Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich

I don't think my nose would grow if I said this was no amateur show.

It is a moral tale of the dire consequence of telling lies, and any youngsters in the audience would surely pay heed to the cleverly contrived scene in which Pinocchio's nose grows longer with each falsehood.

Plenty of audience participation with a generous sprinkling of “oh no you're nots” made you feel part of the cast.

The variable singing did not detract from the strength of the overall performance, and everyone joined in with Zippa-Dee-Doo-Da, I've Got No Strings and When You Wish Upon A Star.

In this version of the classic, Barnaby Matley delightfully portrays Pinocchio with fresh-faced naivety and puppet-like movements.

Oversized conscience Trevor Burton brings a real touch of Disney as Mr Cricket with his persistent phoentic puns. (That's with a capital F.)

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If you are the kind of person that loves to hate then there's oodles of baddies to boo.

Madame Fire Eater is delightfully wicked with a full gamut of effects, scary music, red lighting and clouds.

But I must confess to having been enrapped by the fiendish duo Mr Fox and Miss Cat.

Whilst it's difficult to match the animation of Disney's masterpiece, the energy and enthusiasm of the players meant this was anything but a wooden performance.

Pinocchio continues at the Maddermarket until January 3. Box office: 01603 620917.

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