Telling a Tall Story: Pinnochio, The Pantomime Adventure

There’s always a kind of indescribable feeling in the air in Joburg once the jacarandas start blooming- a shiver of anticipation as the year winds to its close and the festive season is just around the corner. To theatre lovers it can only mean one thing- it’s PANTO time!

Joburg Theatre and Bernard Jay will present Janice Honeyman’s thirtieth annual festive season pantomime on 12 November- 30 December- Pinocchio, the Pantomime Adventure. Writer / Director Janice Honeyman first adapted the story of Pinocchio into a pantomime in 2009 and that year proved to be the most successful in the history of Janice’s Joburg panto tradition. For 2017, she has re-staged Pinnochio- and over 30,000 tickets have already been sold!

Pinocchio is a fictional character and the protagonist of the 1883 children’s novel, The Adventures of Pinocchio by Italian writer Carlo Collodi.  Carved by a woodcarver named Geppetto in a village near Florence, Pinocchio was created as a wooden puppet but dreamed of becoming a real boy.  He lies often and is known for having a short nose that becomes longer when he tells fibs! Pinocchio is told to work, be good and study.  And in the end his dedication to his father, Geppetto, and his devotion to these things transforms him into a real boy.

South africa’s well-loved actor, Tobie Cronjé, plays Gepetto and multi-talented performer André Schwartz plays the Fox. Making her Joburg Theatre pantomime debut is Chi Mhende (Pussy Galore, the Cat) and this year’s panto sees a return to the age-old tradition of a female ‘principal boy’, as performer Kanyi Nokwe plays the role of Pinocchio. Ilse Klink (Bella Bouboulina, the Blue Fairy) is a South African actress and singer best known for her role as Vanessa Booysens on SABC3’s Isidingo from 1999 to 2007.

Pinocchio is written and directed by Janice Honeyman, with musical direction by Coenraad Rall and choreography by Nicol Sheraton. Timothy Le Roux is resident director and Dale Scheepers is band leader.  The pantomime is produced by Joburg Theatre and Bernard Jay, in association with MNet, Jacaranda FM and Your Family Magazine.

 Pinocchio opens at the Joburg Theatre on November 12th 2017 and continues its 72-performance season until December 30th.

Tickets for Pinocchio from R185 are on sale:

Telephone 0861 670 670, go online at, or book in person at the Joburg Theatre box office.  Patrons can also book and pay via the Nedbank app or walk-in at selected Pick ‘n Pay stores (a full list is available at– or book on-line and then pay at any Pick ‘n Pay store.


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