Children’s favourite Pinocchio is coming to the Greenwich Theatre this month in a stage adaptation of the Disney cinema classic.
The star of the show is 21-year-old Christian James, who will play the wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a real boy.
He only began in the profession recently after graduating from university. “I had been auditioning a lot before I got the part,” he said. “Sometimes that feels like a skill in itself.
“Since graduating it has all been a big learning curve but I am now really excited about taking part.”
Christian, 21, moved to London at 18 to attend the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Despite being a highly-rated young actor, he saves his praise for his colleagues, including Pinocchio’s director Bronagh Lagan.
“She is brilliant,” he said. “She has brought really interesting ideas to the show that people will love.
“She uses shadow puppets which really adds to the story, making it really lively.
“It is really beautifully done. I loved the film when I was a kid, and anyone who is a fan will also love our production.”
Christian played Aladdin at the Newbury Theatre over the festive period, but says this production is his “largest show to date”.
“This is the first time I’ve played the Greenwich Theatre,” he said. “I am a mixture of nervous and excited, but the cast are all great people, and they all have far more experience than I do so it’s brilliant to learn from them.
“It’s a fantastic, fun family show, and I really recommend it to anyone.”
And what next?
“I am not sure what the future holds,” he said. “I would like to go into other areas – theatre teaches you a lot of skills that you can transfer to television and I’d love to try it.”
Pinocchio, Greenwich Theatre, Aug 5-23, £11-£16, greenwichtheatre.org.uk.