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Puppet tale that weaves some magic

Pinocchio, Cahoots NI The MAC, Belfast

By Grania McFadden

Director Paul Bosco McEneaney has bypassed Disney and returned to the original 19th century tale of the wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a real boy for Cahoots NI's Christmas show.

The story of the lonely carpenter Gepetto who carves himself a make-believe son weaves a rich tapestry of life lessons for a young audience: about honesty, loyalty, determination and truth.

The cast of seven is accompanied by a live band and headed by the wonderful Sean Kearns as the wicked Rocombollo, into whose travelling show the little puppet is lured and made to help him perform his tricks as characters are shrunk, noses grow and puppets vanish.

Garth McConaghie's original score and songs propel the story along, interspersed with comedy turns from Jo Donnelly's Cat, and Hugh W Brown's Fox. Charlotte McCurry's angelically-voiced Blue Fairy helps Pinocchio find his heart's desire.

Once again Cahoots NI has created a thoughtful, beautiful show for children, combining both magic and meaning.

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