HipHop + Pinocchio = POPNOCCHIO

POPNOCCHIO is a piece of dance and musical theatre that includes breakdance, animation and illusion, mime, beat-boxing, live music, choral dance movement, physical theatre, spoken word and mime. It has three performances at Blackpool Sixth Form Theatre on Saturday 24 September, Blackpool Grand Theatre Wednesday 28 September and Blackpool & Fylde Brickwork Theatre on Friday 30 September.

This urban twist on the classic tale of Pinocchio will give the story a fresh and exciting edge, and see it altered to suit the ‘HipHop Theatre’ genre which is currently taking the nation as well as the world by storm.

The piece has been conceived by Skool of Street and WingZ Theatre Works; an urban-arts collective in Blackpool made up of dancers, singers, actors, rappers, beatboxers, graffiti artists, DJs, spoken word and movement artists. Established in 2013, they now have a catalogue of vibrant and exciting work that involves young people in all aspects of the performances.

Artistic Directors Samantha Bell and Aishley Docherty say of the hiphop movement “We live it and love it! It’s a lifestyle. Hiphop is an outlet, it is self-expression and above all it is raw. It is important for us to display just how compelling, and inspiring it can be. We want to shake the common misconception, that hiphop is related to crime and gangs.”

Popnocchio is supported by Arts Council England funding; a bid which has taken the organisers a long time to work on but something they feel is worth that time and effort. Of this piece they say: “We could tell you a brand new story, but Pinocchio feels right, its moral messages are something that many feel strongly about, and this production is us saying, we are here, we have a message, and look at what we can do.”

The piece will be in rehearsals between now and September when it will be brought to life on stage at Blackpool Sixth Form Theatre, Blackpool Grand Theatre and Blackpool & Fylde Brickwork Theatre. Full and further details can be found on the organisers’ website or their Facebook Page and if you have any questions or would like to get more involved in their projects just contact Sam and Aish via email on [email protected].

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    Melanie Whitehead is the Creative Director of The Old Electric, Blackpool's newest theatre. She previously worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.

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