Following on from the popular television series this stage show was enthusiastically awaited. As Peppa is usually a cartoon character it is interesting to see how this translates to the stage. Unlike some other shows Peppa and her friends are not portrayed by people in costumes. Instead the characters are puppets with their handlers moving around with them, dressed in black. Although it is unusual to see the puppeteers it actually works well for the purpose. The gasps of sheer delight as a crowd of butterflies appears proves this.
George Pig is played Phil Adele and although he has very few lines (“Dinosaur”) he is most endearing. The front rows of the stalls may not enjoy having a wash when he cries but it certainly amuses everyone else!
It seems a shame that Charlotte Sullivan is puppet-less but she is the token human who keeps the pigs in order and gets the audience interacting with them. She seems quite at ease with the puppet pigs and interacts with them easily. She is also good at explaining the audience’s part in different songs and encouraging the dancing in the aisles!
As seems to be the way with television related performances there is a range of merchandise to accompany it. At 8 months old my companion is too young to join the cries of “please can I have a...” although the fibre optic wands do provide quite a distraction in the theatre. The show is interspersed with songs that capture his attention and keep his interest throughout , although by the end his huge happy smile is accompanied by some very droopy eyelids. It’s hard work having fun.
Watching the faces of children around the theatre it is obvious that the show, and Peppa Pig the star, are much loved and appreciated. One could question the presence of the puppeteers on the stage, or the fact you can see how things work, but the important thing is that the children enjoy it and this certainly seems to be the case.
- Maria Robertson