Lazzi!, Mr Pinnochio

Review in Issue 13-3 | Autumn 2001

Lazzi! take their name from the commedia dell’arte – the word means ‘improvised comic business’. The company seem to have their roots firmly embedded in the noble art of mime – writer, director and performer David WW Johnstone is a renowned practitioner who has worked with many of the world’s greats – including Mnouchkine and Marceau. I didn’t know any of this when I went along to the charming and intimate Hill Street Theatre – but was just following a whim that this might be an interesting performance.

Lazzi!’s Mr Pinnochio was the surprise gem of my visit to Edinburgh – a ‘circus-for-the-mind’ that used physical expression and words together to create a beautiful reworking of Carlo Collodi’s story of the puppet who became a real boy. It was a joy to see two performers so willing and able to tell such wonderful tales through word and gesture alone. Johnstone’s all-grown-up Mr P is a wonderful portrait of nostalgia, confusion, resignation but above all affirmation of life with all its foibles and difficulties. Sandy Grierson, who previously worked with the award-winning Ariel Teatr, is a delightful Pinnochio, conjuring all the character’s magical mix of naivety, self-centredness, charm and developing sense of shame and purpose on his life path from piece of wood to fully-fledged human being

Lazzi! knock the nails in the Disney coffin and restore Collodi’s story to its rightful place as one of the greatest parables in European literature and in doing so give us a wonderful and enchanting piece of theatre.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2001

This article in the magazine

Issue 13-3
p. 27