‘Pinocchio’, a child hero for the SER’s Christmas story | TV

Between 1882 and 1883, the Italian newspaper Newspaper for children published by installments Story of a Puppet (Story of a puppet), written by Carlo Collodi. The novel that would become known as The Adventures of Pinocchio It was not exactly a children’s story, and the character, a wooden child, suffered gruesome vicissitudes. Kill Jiminy Cricket. Spend time in prison. He is about to die several times. Even in the original version, it died, but the rebellion of the readers forced its author to rewrite the ending. Nothing to do with the version, much more sweetened, that Disney sealed in the collective imagination with the 1940 film.

Pinocchio stars in the Christmas story that Cadena SER gives its listeners this December 25 at 12.00 (it will be available on the SER Podcast below and on January 6 at 18.00 it will be reissued in a special edition of Window). But the version directed by Ana Alonso and adapted by the writer Esther García Llovet is very different from both the original and Disney’s. Now the story takes place in the 21st century and includes references to Raffaella Carrá and Game of Thrones.

The SER’s Christmas story is already a classic. If you have adapted stories like Little women, Peter Pan, The big family, Living is beautiful or, in 2013, when this tradition began, Christmas story by Charles Dickens, on this occasion they have chosen to dedicate the production to the youngest listeners, after last year the protagonists were the oldest with the adaptation of Love in the time of cholera.

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Nathalie Poza, narrator of 'Pinocchio', at one point during the recording.
Nathalie Poza, narrator of ‘Pinocchio’, at one point during the recording.

For the writer Esther García Llovet, this has been a particularly complicated challenge that involved months of work and forced her to write several versions until she found the appropriate tone. “It is a story that, if we go to the Disney tone, it is very sweetened, and if we go to the original it is very sinister. I wanted to find something that was not excessively Christmassy and not as dark as the original, “he explains by phone about the crossroads where he found himself. This was his first experience writing radio fiction and it has been with a work especially complicated by the difficulty of adapting the tone and of selecting the adventures of Pinocchio that fit the occasion. He opted for the final section of the story, in which the evolution of the character is clearer, and set it at Christmas. “At the end of the day, we are talking about the story of a child who is born: the birth of Pinocchio as a human and the birth of the baby Jesus. While I was writing I saw that analogy, which is not explicit in the work, but it was in my head ”, he details. An additional challenge for her was the audio format: “When I write I am very visual, I imagine it in images, and here the entire landscape had to be sound. That has been what I have enjoyed the most, imagining how you can transform a scene into sound ”.

Ramón Barea, at one point during the recording of 'Pinocho'.
Ramón Barea, at one point during the recording of ‘Pinocho’.CHAIN ​​BE

Ana Alonso, who also directed the Christmas story last year, highlights the humor that this adaptation includes, “with a lot of setbacks”. That was the weapon that García Llovet used to update the story and bring it into the 21st century. “I think humor updates anything, because when you laugh at something you update it, because you laugh now,” defends the writer. Laughter has also been his tool to make history hook both children and adults. “When you watch Pixar movies, the good thing is that they are aimed at children, but we adults like them a lot. I wish I had done something like Pixar, no, but it has a reading that an adult can see in that desire of a child, which is too different, to want to be like others. And the child is accompanied by a voice, the narrator, who is like an invisible friend, and that the children will understand more ”.

The actress Nathalie Poza is that narrator who follows Pinocchio on his way. Ramón Barea voices Geppetto, while Verónica Sánchez is the Pixie fairy. Raúl Pérez, Lander Otaola and Verónica Forqué are also part of the cast. Forqué, who plays a character who lives hooked on natural and alternative therapies, recorded her collaboration on December 3, a few days before being found dead at home. “She does it incredible, she was very willing and very generous,” recalls Ana Alonso.

Verónica Forqué, during the recording of her collaboration with 'Pinocho' on December 3.
Verónica Forqué, during the recording of her collaboration with ‘Pinocho’ on December 3.CHAIN ​​BE

The pandemic forced each participation to be recorded separately, which, for its director, was an extra challenge. Also the choice of the cast. “You are listening to the voices separately and you have to imagine how they will combine. We tend to choose voices that are alike because they are the ones we like, and if you do that in audio, the characters are not understood, the interventions are confused. Recording it separately was tough. And then the hardest part is the assembly. Roberto García, the sound director, has a spectacular job. We do many versions and we are fine-tuning, polishing… ”. On this occasion they wanted the children’s characters to be played by real children, like Marco Guerrero, who voices Pinocchio. “As it was a tribute to children, we wanted to play it and do it with children. It’s risky, you never know how it will turn out, but we are very happy, they are great ”, says Alonso.

Esther García Llovet describes Pinocchio as a “child hero who tries to do things to be someone else”. Throughout the hour and a half of production, this wooden boy – who in this version is 11 years old, a pre-adolescent, although in the original story he is somewhat smaller – learns that “everything you want is on the other side of fear ”, As is heard at one point in the story, and that nothing happens to be different.

Verónica Sánchez, in the recording of the SER's Christmas story.
Verónica Sánchez, in the recording of the SER’s Christmas story.CHAIN ​​BE

The rebirth of sound fiction

The Christmas Carol is a recent SER classic that serves as an example of the rebirth of radio drama in the last decade. “When I started doing sound fiction it seemed that you were making radio soap operas, and now it has become very fashionable. The audio that allows you to recover your hands and eyes, you can go down the street listening and it gives you total freedom ”. Thanks to the audio, Orson Welles made believe in 1938 that the Earth was being attacked by aliens with his adaptation of War of the Worlds, and in 2016, the production of Podium Podcast The great blackout, Also directed by Ana Alonso, it imagined the consequences that an intense solar storm would cause on the planet.

“The advantage of audio is that it is audio, and the disadvantage is that it is audio. You can imagine great apocalyptic worlds and world wars, and it costs little to do it, but what is not understood with sounds, does not exist. RNE continued to make sound fictions, but it is true that for a time it was abandoned and it is something that people enjoy very much. It is an expensive, complicated and very sensitive genre, because if it is not well assembled, if it does not engage, the listener goes to something else. I believe that the rise of audiovisual fiction has led to the rise of audio fiction. The more fiction we consume, the more we want and in different formats. And the SER’s Christmas story is already an unavoidable tradition. If a year was not done, people would demand it ”, finishes Alonso.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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