With the help of his enthusiastic troupe, the now grown up circus hypnotist, Pinocchio, guides us through the story as he recollects key moments from his life and vows to turn his back on the lies of his past and only speak the truth.
During the play we laugh at his hilarious (albeit impossible) birth from a human mother, gasp when we see him hung from a bridge by a cunning fox and cat, and even empathise with his subsequent self-destructive behaviour as he pursues the one true love of his life.
Throw in a few monologues, live music, a hazy trip to booby island and a sprinkle of shadow puppetry, and the story quickly transforms into a dark cautionary tale. Cue tragic ending.
Within its one hour running time, The Greatest Liar in all the World does a fantastic job of packing in a whole spectrum of emotions. All five-cast members offer strong performances and even the clown (who says nothing throughout the play), evolves into one of the most captivating characters on the stage. Although it’s based on a beloved children’s story, I certainly wouldn’t recommend it as the chosen bedtime read. But instead, keep it as one for the adults to enjoy.
Mimetic Festival is running at The Vaults, Waterloo until 29th November – find full listings here.
Read more posts by Rachel Akiboye here