This is Croydon, supported by Croydon Council and Arts Council England, has  announced the premiere performance of The Stepping Stones Pinocchio Project at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, part of the Mayor of London’s London Borough of  Culture.. 

To coincide with the festive season, this special event, which will take place on  Sunday 17 December, will invite guests to experience a brand-new interpretation  of Carlo Collodi’s timeless fairy tale The Adventures of Pinocchio. First published in  1883, and perhaps best known for the 1940 Disney film, this Pinocchio finds that 

rather than wishing to be a ‘real boy’ and conform to society’s standards – it’s  actually about him learning to accept who he is. 

Presented by SAVVY Theatre, the production is a collaborative effort of richly  diverse local community groups from across Croydon, including Mind, the  Southleigh (InMind) Community Centre, Crisis and SAVVY Theatre’s weekly Take  Part groups (which engages with a wide range of people, including children, those  with SEMH issues, adults with learning disabilities, people with English as a second  language – and everyone in between). The project has also worked with local  schools to develop work based on the themes of journey and transformation using  the original Pinocchio story as source material and inspiration. This alternative  retelling puts inclusivity front of mind, leading the protagonist to find self acceptance and happiness within himself. 

Using SAVVY’s well-defined method of creative engagement, for those looking for  an alternative Christmas family treat The Stepping Stones Pinocchio Project has  been created inclusively working with the various community groups, tickets can  be purchased via the Fairfield Halls website. 

Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries said:  “The Stepping Stones Pinocchio Project is a wonderful example of how the Mayor’s  London Borough of Culture celebrates the creative work of local people as we build  a better London for all. The inclusive approach to this well-known tale shows the  power of culture in bringing people together whilst promoting understanding and  acceptance. It’s a warm-hearted Christmas delight with an important message for  family and friends to enjoy.” 

Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon said: 

“During our year as London Borough of Culture we celebrate the ambition,  diversity, and inclusivity of our community. This is Croydon showcases stories  created and performed in Croydon. I am delighted that SAVVY Theatre shares this  ambition with a retelling of Pinocchio. Co-created with the local community and  organisations including Mind, the Southleigh (InMind) Community Centre, Crisis and SAVVY Theatre’s weekly Take Part groups. I look forward to seeing over 120  performers coming together on Fairfield Halls’ famous concert hall platform.” 

Arts Council England, this is a flagship programme for London Borough of Culture.