It's often explained by harassed parents, with a roll of the eyes, that their moody, monosyllabic teenagers are on another planet. But are they really? We decided to enlist the viewpoint of a bona fide teen to give her direct opinions and experience of going to the theatre and how it impacts or informs what is happening in her own life. Here'd Edie, whose has already visited Kinky Boots with her WhatsOnStage blogger hat on and now has headed to the National Theatre's Pinocchio. Here's what she made of it.
My only criticism of this brilliant show would be that Joe Idris Roberts' performance as Pinoccchio was a bit…wooden – but I'm afraid my nose would start to grow! Actually, one thing I wasn't expecting to learn from watching Pinocchio was that although lying can get you into a lot of trouble, it can also get you out of it.
Before the show I started imagining what it would be like if everyone's nose grew when they lied and how it could be useful for teachers to know when someone has really forgotten their homework. But that could also be annoying if you're telling a white lie so as to not upset someone. Lies like these were handy in the show when Pinocchio, Geppetto and Jiminy Cricket were stuck in the belly of a giant whale and Pinocchio used his growing nose to help them escape. This scene reminded me a lot of telling lies like "no your fringe really does look nice" to get myself out of a sticky situation.
I also wasn't expecting that Pinocchio the wooden puppet would be played by a real actor, while his father Geppetto was played by a giant puppet! All the giant puppets were amazing, and there were lots of moments that literally made my jaw drop: like when Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket were searching for Geppetto and the huge whale swam up behind them out of the darkness so I suddenly forgot I was sitting in the audience and thought I was underwater. Another amazing moment was when the Blue Fairy appeared out of thin air and I thought: 'This is no longer special effects. This is magic'. And that's no lie!
Edie is a fourteen year-old who loves to dance, play netball, kickbox and act. She loved going to see pantomimes in her early years and the show that had the biggest impact on her was Matilda the Musical, which she saw aged eight. She's been obsessed with theatre ever since. She's currently studying An Inspector Calls at school and thinks it's really clever and gripping but could do with some songs…
Pinocchio runs at the National Theatre until 10 April.
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