, Review:  Pinocchio: The Radical Robot Girl at Stiwdio Stepney, Ffwrnes, Llanelli

About The Bohemanians Theatre Company

The Bohemians are an actor-musician theatre company formed by Rose Bruford graduates with a mission to make theatre that is musically, visually and politically charged with actor-musicians and live music at the heart of the stories they tell. They create bold and challenging musicals, gig theatre and theatre for family audiences.

Keep up with The Bohemians Theatre Company here.

, Review:  Pinocchio: The Radical Robot Girl at Stiwdio Stepney, Ffwrnes, Llanelli

Our Thoughts on Pinocchio: The Radical Rebel Robot Girl

The doors opened and we walked into the darkened Stiwdio Stepney, at the Ffwrnes Theatre. It was both inviting and exciting as the stage was adorned with glowing lightbulb string lights and the Junkfolkers were already playing their lively, folk tunes We found a seat and made ourselves comfortable in this cosy space, perfect for telling tales and of course, listening to them.

♫ “We are the Junkfolk, we’re here to tell our tale.” ♫

Our tale began in an old, dark bunker bedecked with eclectic objects from the old world- a tassel lampshade, video storage box, an “At Any Time” sign, and a traffic cone to name a few. Instead of the woodcarver, Geppetto, and his puppet, Pinocchio, we meet Pinocchio (or Pino) the radical robot girl and her father Joe, a retired AI Engineer. In this coming-of-age drama, poor Pinocchio struggles with being locked up “safe” in the dark bunker with nobody else for company besides her father. Joe is getting too old to keep up with Pinocchio’s energetic physical games. When not running around, Pinocchio keeps herself amused by watching old videos showing her what life was like in the old world. Her favourites included – “Doctor Who” and of course, “Pobl y Cwm”!

As time passes and Pinocchio gets older, her yearning to leave the bunker increases- especially as a mysterious “woman” with a blue light calls to her in her dreams. We follow Pino as she escapes the Bunker and runs away, encountering many mis- adventures along the way.

“The ballad of a radical, robot girl” is easy to follow, sharing the story structure with the original “Adventures of Pinocchio”- “We’ve changed a few names, but the story’s the same”.

In this modern-day musical, songs are weaved seamlessly throughout the story. The Junkrockers play a wide variety of different genres of music, from acoustic folk, music hall, and rock music to a jazzy show number. It must have been such good fun for the actors to showcase their many talents, and they all proved flawless in all they did – acting, singing, dancing, and playing numerous instruments- it was very entertaining for the audience from start to finish.

The superb cast took us on a heartwarming journey to some sad places, but there was also a lot of humour throughout. There is no interval in the show, so no time for set changes, but the marvellous physical acting and creative costume changes took us to different places and to meet new characters along the way which captivated the attention of even the youngest members of the audience. Talking of which, the show is suitable for ages 7 and above (on a personal note I know my children would have enjoyed it when even younger but of course attention spans do vary) and the audience included all ages of people above that. At the end of the show, there was a well-deserved standing ovation and everyone, of all ages, left delighted with the show.

As mentioned above, The Boheminans Theatre Company aim to make theatre that is politically charged and this production has an environmental stance and a warning there is no “happy ever after”, instead, it’s a “warning for our time”. However, while there’s not an immediate “and they all lived happily ever after” which isn’t realistic, I’m pleased to say that at the end of the show, we left feeling hopeful that if we all make an effort, hopefully together we can make changes and it will eventually make a difference. There’s not just one hero/heroine who can save us all but we all need to do our part to help.

Thank you to The Bohemians Theatre Company- keep spreading the good word in a positive and entertaining way! Thank you for also making the Llanelli shows a “pay what you can show” which helps to keep theatre affordable and accessible to all. Tickets are available for reasonable prices (from £7 at The Sherman and from £10 at other venues) for future performances so go and watch them at a theatre near to you.

Ocean Academy Workshop

The climate crisis is at the heart of, ‘The Misadventures of Pinocchio: The Radical Robot Girl!’.

“The Misadventures of Pinocchio”, Ocean Generation will host an Ocean Academy workshop where you can learn about the threats facing our Ocean and how you can help protect it! They will be joined by some of the characters from the show, and learn about the Ocean with a bit of fun and creativity!

Bringing the Ocean to the Theatre.

Ocean Academy Workshops with Ocean Generation

Weds, 29 May ’24 | Theatrau Sir Gar, Llanelli | 12h45 – 13h45 / Mer, 29 Mai ’24 | Theatrau Sir Gâr, Llanelli | 12h45 – 13h45

Sat, 8 June ’24 | Sherman Theatre, Cardiff | 12h30 – 13h30 / Sad, 8 Mehefin ’24 | Theatr y Sherman, Caerdydd | 12h30 – 13h30

Pinocchio: The Radical Robot Girl Upcoming Tour Schedule

Aberystwyth Arts Centre/Canolfan Y Celfyddydau
31st May/Mai @ 2:30pm (Free Workshop at 12:00pm)

Theatr Brycheiniog,
4th June/Mehefin @ 1:00pm

Sherman Theatre, Cardiff
7th June/Mehefin @ 10am & 1:30pm
8th June/Mehefin @ 10am & 2:30pm*

*(BSL performance interpreted Cathryn McShane-Kouyatéby)

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