Beware kids, be good to your parents and don’t run away otherwise you may go home with a few nightmares about the wicked child stealing Stromboli (Paul Capsis)! The children’s classic story by Carlo Colladi of the little wooden boy Pinocchio (Nathan O’Keefe) made by the toymaker Gepetto (Alirio Zavarace) has been given a good shaking up with lots of modern twists!. Pinocchio is not content to be the much loved wooden boy child of his singe parent dad Gepetto and instead has to play class clown, demand expensive sneakers and then rebel and run off to explore the world, breaking his fathers heart in the process. Along the way he meets Foxy (Luke Joslin) and Kitty Poo (Jude Henshall) who are also seeking money, power and fame. They all fall into the clutches of the evil powerbroker and child stealer Stromboli and end up on his Playland island where they realise that money, power and fame are perhaps not all they are cracked up to be and honest friendship and love are to be truly cherished. This is a dark story with dangers lurking behind every part of the wildly revolving set (Jonathan Oxlade). Directed by Rosemary Myers and co written by Myers and Julianne O’Brien, this show has EVERY thing but the kitchen sink! Digital imagery (Chris More), revolving stage, a fulcrum, delightful puppetry of the illuminated cricket conscience, groovy music and songs with subtle and not so subtle adult references!. At just over two hours (with an interval) it is a fairly long time for kids and parents to invest but it is worth it and it is definitely for the 7+ group. Tickets $40-$70. Drama Theatre Opera House

The Government Inspector

This is so clever. It is like a hall of mirrors, each one reflecting back into the other so you don’t know what is real. And there there are the lawyers and layers of irony. The story loops in and out and neatly ties up at the end – perfect. In late 2013, director Simon Stone was notified that the play he had intended to direct, The Philadelphia Story, was not out of copyright and the estate of its co-author Ellen Barry, had written refusing to grant permission for Belvoir to stage it (especially given the intended reworkings). So, Stone decided to present Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector. But as Stone and his cast looked at that play, they realised that there were a number of similarities between what had happened to them over the Philadelphia Story and the plot of The Government Inspector particularly the arrival of a letter that causes great panic and uproar. What you see at Belvoir is an acting out of the story of The Government Inspector but in the context of not being able to get their play on stage. There are misunderstandings, mistakes and reflections that are not what they seem. From the moment this play starts, it is hilarious. The actors play themselves and there is so much paying out on each other (and Simon Stone) that it comes close to the bone in many areas. Written by Simon Stone and Emily Barclay, it stars Mitchell Butel, Greg Stone, Robert Menzies, Fayssal Bazzi, Gareth Davies, Eryn Jean Norvill, Zahra Newman. Music composed by Stefan Gregory and set design by Ralph Myers. So tight and beautifully written and so funny.