Pinocchio is a stroke of programming genius on the part of The Old Market.

Slotted in the seasonal no man’s land between Christmas and New Year, when the children are over-tired and emotional and their respective grown-ups are equally jaded, Scamp Theatre’s Pinocchio offers families the perfect antidote with an opportunity to flex their imaginations and collectively recover.

The magic begins on entry to the theatre, which is bathed in soft focus lighting and dressed with branches laced with glittering baubles and twinkling fairy lights.

Steve Tiplady, the creator, narrator and puppeteer, is on stage tinkering at his workshop. As the auditorium dims we journey with him through this familiar tale told with familiar objects, but in the hands of Tiplady every inanimate object transmogrifies into a character, full of expression and personality.

The story focuses on the innocence of Pinocchio (no terrifying fairground bullies or donkeys here). There’s a moral emphasis on making informed decisions and keeping safe that will satisfy modern parents, but as far as the children are concerned, the show is packed full of beautiful transformations and delightful reincorporations – an extraordinary story expertly told.

With a live musical soundscape created by the inconceivably talented Kate Daisy Grant, who turns her hand to everything from a cello to a theremin, this treat of theatrical magic is complete.