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The British Theatre Academy to produce Disney’s My Son Pinocchio Jr. at Southwark Playhouse

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE British Theatre Academy is to produce Disney’s My Son Pinocchio Jr. as part of its second annual summer season takeover at Southwark Playhouse.

A magical mix of heartwarming fairytale and action-packed adventure, Disney’s My Son Pinocchio Jr. will run from Friday, July 26 to Wednesday, August 14, 2019.

In Disney’s My Son Pinocchio Jr, the classic tale of toymaker Geppetto’s little wooden puppet is given new life.

This new musical, which retells the classic Disney story from Geppetto’s perspective, features the classic songs When You Wish Upon a Star and I’ve Got No Strings (music by Leigh Harline and lyrics by Ned Washington from the Walt Disney motion picture Pinocchio) alongside a host of new songs by Oscar and Grammy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz (Wicked).

Join the Blue Fairy, Stromboli and a lively cast of characters as Geppetto journeys beyond the toy shop to discover the meaning of family. When the Blue Fairy grants Geppetto’s wish to bring his beloved puppet to life, the new father quickly learns that being a parent is full of challenges. He struggles to make his son “the perfect boy” only to lose him to a gang of Roustabouts. When faced with the thought of never seeing Pinocchio again, Geppetto truly learns the meaning of family, and being a father.

Disney’s My Son Pinocchio Jr, is directed by Séimí Campbell, with choreography by Holly Hughes, set and costume design by Gregor Donnelly, lighting design by Andrew Exeter and sound design by Andrew Johnson.

It has a book by David Stern.

Stephen Schwartz said: “I always think it’s important for people who are interested to be in theatre to get off to an early start. That kind of early training gets into your bones. I also think it’s especially fun for The BTA to work on something brand new like Disney’s My Son Pinocchio Jr as the performers aren’t imitating other performers from before, but finding the creativity within themselves.”

Also in the 2019 BTA season is a youth production of the multi award-winning Broadway hit, Once On This Island, from the Tony Award-winning songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Anstasia, Seussical, Ragtime), and a youth production of Dogfight by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land, The Greatest Showman) and Peter Duchan, directed and choreographed by Dean Johnson.

British Theatre Academy website.

Image (bottom): Stephen Schwartz with members of the British Theatre Academy and BTA Alumnus Matthew Seadon-Young, who has just finished playing Theo in Company at the Gielgud Theatre. Photo credit: Eliza Wilmot.

Tickets: £22, £18 concessions. Previews: all seats £14. To book, call the box office on 020 7407 0234 or visit southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/.

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7pm, matinees at 3pm.