PINOCCHIO, a full-stage extravaganza, took over three and a half years to build and is the largest touring puppet show of its kind in Europe. More than seventy half life-size puppets (there are fourteen Pinocchio figures alone) present the fast moving story on a spectacular three-tier set. These three stages cover an area of six hundred square feet, with stunning scenery reaching up to twelve feet high.
Based on the original tale by Carlo Collodi, the story follows the adventures of PINOCCHIO -the magical puppet, from his beginnings as an enchanted block of wood through to his final transformation into a real boy.
As he sets out into the world with all the naivety and curiosity of a young child, he meets many characters and soon learns, to his cost, that not all of them are honest.
The villainous Mr Fox and Mistress Cat take advantage of his gullible nature and leave him to perish in the Field of Miracles, but the ever watchful Blue Fairy sets him back on his way. However, despite this encounter, his curiosity again gets the better of him when he is enticed to the Land of Toys, where unlimited fun is promised. He proceeds to have a riotous time, dancing with Jack-in-the-Boxes, chasing Teddy Bears, causing havoc with the poor toys who live there and eventually, with one enormous bang, destroying all the toy soldiers.
PINOCCHIO's fun comes to an abrupt end when he is caught and tried by the spectacularly regal Chess King and Queen, who sentence him to become a donkey. He fails to escape this fate and finds himself in the ultimately humiliating role of a novelty circus act. The audience is amazed and entertained by a procession of jugglers, acrobats and performing creatures, but when PINOCCHIO refuses to sing, he is sent back to his stable to await his punishment. Sorrowful and dejected, he munches his hay until suddenly he sees one of the creatures being attacked by the giant spider. Disregarding his own safety, he bravely rescues the creature which is promptly revealed as the Blue Fairy herself. This unselfishness marks the turning point in PINOCCHIO's character and he sets out to rescue his poor Papa, Gepetto, who has been swallowed by a giant whale. In the process PINOCCHIO is also swallowed by the whale and it is only through his ingenuity that they escape.
In the next heart-wrenching scene, Gepetto is close to death and PINOCCHIO begs for help. Because he has at last kept his promise, the Blue Fairy comes to his aid and grants his Papa's dearest wish - that he should have a real son - PINOCCHIO. As the boy and the old man leave the stage, the grand finale begins in which over twenty puppets take their bows and remain on stage. Finally into this blaze of colour walk PINOCCHIO and Gepetto, each with puppets of their own, to receive their applause before the curtain falls.