Imaginative, Inventive & Invoking all the Emotions: The Greatest Liar in all the World.

This afternoon we went on a family outing to see The Greatest Liar in all the World, a 2018 Familia del a Noche performance at Royal Welsh College of Music & Dance. I have only just discovered this inventive and magical theatre company, and after today I can’t wait to see them perform again…

The Greatest Liar in all the World focuses on the life and experiences of the wooden boy Pinocchio. The Disney story we all know is pretty dark, but Familia del a Noche twist and turn the tale even more, offering a more brutal portrayal of the wooden boy’s life. 

We see him born and cast away from his mother, separated from his father, unable to walk, we see him come back from many a deathly scene and it’s always with the help of the girl with the blue hair. His obsession with her leads to him becoming human and unable to test his immortality in the hope of another glimpse at her. Without her to call upon he decides to face his fate head on, leading to devastating consequences…

I wasn’t sure how George and Molly would react to this performance, even I had little idea how it would be presented or whether it would hold our attention. As soon as we walked in there was a very lovely atmosphere being created by the actors; they were interacting with the audience and there was just a general sense of intimacy, not to mention beautiful music and melodies performed by the very talented pianist!

The performance began and we were thrown into their crazy world. The stage was set up with quirky props and a little piano, the costumes and make-up were perfect, with flashes of colour and quick and effective costume changes.

Pinocchio is older, a man who is lost and lonely and he decides to tells his story, from birth to present day. His life is harrowing and magical all at once, with challenges and drama along the way. His performance was adorable, his eyes holding all of emotions possible and his interaction with the other performers was perfect. He held our attention throughout, and Molly giggled a lot at the ‘pants’ scene!

The props were amazing, from umbrellas and ribbons to sawdust and shadow puppets, I felt like I’d been welcomed into their magical world and I didn’t want to leave. As for my favourite prop, it came in the form of Pinocchio as a child; the puppet was hauntingly beautiful and the joint puppeteering was beyond anything imaginable. They timed each movement perfectly, creating a real life boy…

I completely adored the clown/blue haired girl; she immediately had my attention and her presence on stage was purely magical and extremely enchanting. I thought she was graceful and sad, and her character was so beautiful; the end of the story was utterly heartbreaking, but I don’t want to spoil it for you!

The entire cast was amazing and this performance was powerful and moving. The humour moved the story along in a light and entertaining way, but make no mistake, this tale is darkly tragic. I adored the storyline, I loved the set and I loved the actors…

This performance is what theatre is (and should be) all about and I cannot wait to see them perform again. 

You can see The Greatest Liar in all the World on 8th March at The Mills Arts Centre in Banbury or on 10th March at 1532 Bristol.

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