by Brian Way with the collaboration of Warren Jenkins and the Arena Theatre Company

1971 - 1972

Pinocchio, a new version of the story by Carlo Collodi, was produced by Theatre Centre in 1971-72 (27 December to 15 January). The production was presented by Thurrock District Council at the Thameside Theatre.

The play was first produced by the Arena Theatre Company at Catlin’s Arcadia, Llandudno, on the 29 December 1951. This production was produced by Warren Jenkins, assisted by Brian Way.

“This Pinocchio is the simple real ‘it’s ME’ that every child will recognise, from his earliest attempts at living and walking , through his troubles, to the end. This play shows each lviing member of the audience a simple consideration of life itself, and makes possible a healthy and proper participation by all the little Pinocchios in that place; be they birds, beasts or just friends, they are by now all part of Pinocchio” Peter Slade, in his 1953 Foreword to the Dobson-published script


Fire-Eater (the puppet master): Stafford Gordon
Harlequin (puppet): Paul Foulds
Columbine (puppet): Sheila Felvin
Pantalone (puppet): John Harding
Candlewick (Fire-Eater’s son): Gavin Scott-Hutton
1st Ticket-seller: Lita Petrou
2nd Ticket-seller: Deborah Cranston
Clown: John Neal
Gepetto (a puppet maker): Richard Brinnand
Pinocchio: Ron Cook
Antonia (a wood seller): Gavin Scott-Hutton
Policeman: Raymond Mariner
Fairy: Janet Kell
Mr. Fox: Paul Foulds
Mr. Cat: Deborah Cranston
1st Detective: Stafford Gordon
2nd Detective: Richard Brinnand
1st Bloodhound: Lita Petrou
2nd Bloodhound: Sheila Felvin
Judge: John Harding
Coachman: Richard Brinnand
Circus-Master: John Harding
Snake Charmer: Lita Petrou
Circus Clowns: Stafford Gordon and Raymond Mariner
Donkey Girl: Sheila Felvin

Creative Team

Director: Brian Way
Dances arranged by: Deborah Cranston
Wardrobe: Maggie Wredden, with some costumes hired from Joan Luxton
Stage Directors: Richard Brinnand and Eileen Bell
Stage Manager: Lesli Tomson
Assistant Stage Managers: Carole Beu and Phil Hatton

For Theatre Centre Ltd.

Director: Brian Way
Administrator: John Buston
Secretaries: Patricia Ellis and Brenda Costall
Production Advisers: Roger Watkins, Eileen Bell, Richard Brinnand, Tony Wredden
Arts scheme Administrator: David Hughes

For Thurrock Urban District Council

Thameside Theatre Manager: Brian Pridmore
Thameside Theatre Stage Manager and Chief Electrician: Brian Seddon
Publicity and Administration: John Webb

The information on this page has been gathered from archive materials. Do you have more information about this play, or were you involved in its production? Let us know by leaving a comment below or contacting us.

Thanks to Paul and Brenda Foulds for the temporary loan of a programme from which much information presented on this page has been gathered.

A copy of the script is held by the British Library.

"Pinocchio, it's wonderful. Wonderful! How can I ever thank you? Now my show will be more famous than ever. Fire-Easter's Puppets, the Only Stringless Puppets in the World. Do you hear that everyone?"


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