REVIEW: Pinocchio Blackpool Tower Circus

Blackpool Tower Circus Christmas show Pinocchio

Blackpool Tower Circus Christmas show Pinocchio

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Mainstream pantomime these days can all be a bit predictable.

Grab yourself a Z-list soap star - or worse someone from reality TV - chuck in half a dozen songs the children will drive you mental singing, a few mildly racy gags and a dame whose career in legitimate theatre is, well, behind them... You get my drift.

Thank goodness for the good old Tower Circus which has never done things by the book.

What’s more it’s got Blackpool’s biggest star (well maybe third biggest after the Tower and The Big One) in Mooky.

As ever he’s the main man in this year’s Panto offering, Pinocchio - and for good reason.

Slapstick comedian, juggler, purveyor of sharp one liners and, most surprising of all guitar-wielding troubadour - a true master of all trades and the beating heart of the resort’s Victorian gem.

He’s the king of the ring, holding every trump card (quite literally when he bends over) when it comes to laughter.

The panto, in truth, is really little more than a vehicle for Blackpool’s clown prince - rolling along at a decent pace, telling the tale of the puppet who became a little boy and was drawn to join the circus.

How very convenient; a chance to trot out talented acrobats to perform stomach turning feats of derring-do first in the context of a talent show, Mr Boo taking the place of Simon Cowell alongside his partner in crime Miss Hiss then as the wooden boy takes his place as star of the show.

The villainy is somewhat short lived as the story fades in and out of the show, blended seamlessly with some stunning traditional big top acts and the hard working performers from the Langley Dance Centre.

The unique ability to flood the Circus ring is used very creatively, there’s a side splitting 12 days of panto routine and, of course Mooky’s rousing finale in which even the most curmudgeonly of dads are forced off their seat to clap along.

Yes, the supporting cast are occasionally a little on the wooden side (well, it is Pinocchio) and the sound inside the famous old arena isn’t quite right. But it’s hard to criticise a thoroughly entertaining, rip roaring circus spectacular.

Until January 17.

ROB STOCKS