With countless wooden princes on the scene, who needs a wee timber skelf as hero? And what about the love interest? Is the Blue Fairy going to fancy bad-boy Lampwick and reform him with a big pop ballad? As for the nose: well, can ­Pinocchio’s give-away schnozzle grow without becoming a suggestive gag that is more in the Dame’s line of comic business? Except there’s no Dame in the original moral tales by Collodi. Heads are probably nodding agreement by now. Best send Cinders up the beanstalk to rub the lamp … again.

But when the Adam Smith team – writer Alan McHugh, director Jonathan Stone and producer ­Sheila Thomson – put their heads together, they reckoned Pinocchio was a fresh adventure that could adapt to family-friendly panto-­tactics without spoofing the tale’s emphasis on virtue rewarded. McHugh’s script ticks two panto boxes in one with a man-crazy Dame (Billy Mack’s Bella Bella) intent on snogging Gepetto the wood-carver into matrimony. Gepetto’s first love, however, is Pinocchio, and George Rae takes the character on a roller-coaster learning curve that soon draws a young audience into the role of watchful conscience. Given the way they booed the miscreant Stromboli (Jonathan Stone) the moment his goth-black locks and fancy frock-coat came into view, Pinocchio should have trusted their early warning cries of when he encountered such ­conniving characters as Sly the Cat and Sleek the Fox.

As ever, at Kirkcaldy, the attention to detail, the flair for conjuring up a sense of spectacle and magic, the snash and the banter are ­securely in place. The kids screamed their heads off in full-on approval. And they knows, you know.

Star rating ****

Mary Brennan