Limp Christmas: Pinocchio No Strings Attached @abovethestag
Set in the fictional Italian port side town called, Placenta, Toymaker Gepetta and her lesbian niece are on the run from the law. Gepetta seeking a man in her life inadvertently calls on the local lesbian fairy Fatima who brings her toy... boy to life. Meanwhile, there’s a wealthy evil landlord, Figaro who wants a piece of the action, a cat with a severe fur ball problem and a footballer thinking of coming out of the closet.
Pinocchio’s growing appendage was met with bewilderment rather than mirth. Looking like a vacuum cleaner hose with a dildo on it probably didn't help. Large chunks of the plot seemed to get in the way of the comedy. Many gags were delivered without much sense of urgency or timing. Other jokes play on tired European stereotypes which don’t fit well in a show aimed at central London audiences.
Still, it looks terrific with its gorgeous set designs by David Shields, and Christopher Lane is deliciously evil as Figaro. Dami Olukoya as the straight-talking Lesbian fairy is a welcome relief. And since Pinocchio can’t whistle in this story the way he has to summon her is worth a laugh.
Directed by Andrew Beckett, Pinocchio No Strings Attached continues at Above The Stag Theatre until January 11.
Photos by PGB Studios