Monday, 26 March 2012

Peppa Pig Live - More fun than muddy puddles!

I know, I know.  It's not exactly Oasis at Knebworth is it, but when you're a parent you have to do these things. I was obviously hoping that Ruby would love the show, but not for a moment did I think us grown-ups would actually enjoy it.

At the start of the stage show, I was nervous about whether Ruby would accept the puppets as 'real', especially as you could clearly see the puppeteers on stage.  But kids are great at suspending their disbelief, and as far as she was concerned this Peppa, George, Pedro, Zoe et al were the real deal.

The first few minutes were quite pantomimey, with lots of audience participation of the 'he's behind' you variety.  But once it got going, the singing and dancing was fantastic - think Peppa meets S Club 7 (who doesn't secretly love a bit of S Club 7?)

The cast were talented, industrious and most of all looked like they were genuinely having fun up there.  The character voices were pretty spot on too - especially Peppa.

My favourite part of the show was the underwater sea creatures.  A cynic would say that it had nothing to do with Peppa Pig and perhaps they were utilising props and puppets from a previous show (pah!), but I thought they were stunning and added another dimension to the performance.  You could hear gasps from the crowd at the beauty of the luminously painted shoals of fish gliding through the dark.

If you want the full 'interactive' experience, book a seat in the first 3 or 4 rows (just watch out when George cries).

My only gripe was the way we seemed to be shepherded into the clutches of the sellers of over-priced merchandise.  Before the show commenced, everyone was directed upstairs into the bar area where you were assaulted by light-up wands; t-shirts; cuddly toys and books.  They were positioned at the doorway so you had no chance of getting a consumerist toddler past without emptying your purse.  Even at the interval when we hoped we'd sit quietly and safely in our seats, they announced that the bar was open selling "drinks, snacks and ice cream!!"

Still, I'm really glad we got the chance to see this.  At the age of 4, Ruby is just on the wane from Peppa mania, so I think this year will be our last chance.  The show is touring the country now, so for a foot-tapping, clap-along fun performance, check out the tour dates on the site.

Disclosure: We were provided with a family ticket free of charge for the purposes of this review, however all opinions expressed are my own.  We donated the ticket price to Sport Relief.

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