The British theatre company H2 Productions is bringing a slice of old Italy to the UAE with Pinocchio, today through Saturday at Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah. The production moves to Abu Dhabi's National Theatre for a five-day run of shows next month. For the first staging of the children's classic, four young performers from the Emirates will act alongside six actors from the UK.
The play's director, Graham Fawcett, has adapted the original story - written in 1883 by Carlo Collodi and made into an animated Disney film in 1940 - for audiences here. The goal was to make a traditionally dark fairy tale about a boy whose nose grows with every lie he tells more of a fun adventure, Fawcett said.
Taking a break from rehearsals, Fawcett - who also performs in the show as Gepetto, the creator of the wooden puppet, and Magnifico, the evil circus master - said audiences should expect surprises, a beautiful set and plenty of entertainment.
"It's a timeless story because it's one with a strong moral," he said. "This is a brand new production written for this audience and, because it has pantomime elements, will see audience participation, creating that extra magic.
"With children, sometimes pantomimes are their first venture into live shows, so we hope to inspire and encourage them to not just stay in and watch TV, but to come out and experience live magic," said Fawcett.
H2 Productions will also bring The Wizard of Oz to Madinat Theatre in December.
Tickets for the Dubai performances, running until Saturday at Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, are Dh140, www.madinattheatre.com
Tickets for the Abu Dhabi performances, running from October 14-19, cost from Dh95 to Dh495, www.skyevent.ae