Theatre review: Punocchio

Punocchio proved pun-tastic, the fun flows fast and furiously but in a very short show
Punocchio proved pun-tastic, the fun flows fast and furiously but in a very short show
Share this article
0
Have your say

The little puppet hero of this year’s Oran Mor summer panto has an answer, to any question you might ask him. “Wooden’t you like to know?” he asks, with a giant nod and wink; and so it goes, line after line, in Gary McNair’s pun-tastic lunchtime Play, Pie and Pint version of Carlo Collodi’s strange tale about the puppet who becomes a boy.

Oran Mor, Glasgow ****

Things take a merry turn from the start, with old 
puppet-maker Gepetto replaced by a panto Dame called Jan Petal, played with lovelorn relish by Dave Anderson; she longs for a child, and dotes on Punocchio with an ineffectual passion, while delivering some killer one-line comedy about the current state of chaos in western politics.

When Punocchio starts to go off the rails, the evil seducing fox is replaced by a posh bear called Bearis Johnson; and the evil ringmaster of the circus where Punocchio is imprisoned and forced to perform is none other than Mr Trumpoli, a strangely blonde evil-doer with no respect for human – or puppet – rights.

To say that the show is brief is an understatement: at barely more than 50 minutes, it’s a good 20 minutes shorter than the usual Play, Pie And Pint panto, with hardly time for any story at all.

Yet the show has a raw, rumbustious energy and talent – and a streak of pure political cheek – that does the heart good; and with Anderson leading a cast that also includes Frances Thorburn, Kirstin McLean and the 
infinitely camp Darren Brownlie, the fun flows fast and furiously – although not, alas, for long.

JOYCE MCMILLAN

Oran Mor, Glasgow, until 22 July.