Review: Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, Theatre Royal, by Steve Haines
Having seen various attempts to turn popular animations into live action stage shows, I was curious to see how they would attempt it with Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom, the latest hit show from the makers of Peppa Pig.And with a combination of oversized heads tapered to actors' mouths and simple but very effective staging techniques, it makes for one of the best transfers from screen to stage I've seen for an animation yet.
With a great turnout, despite the snow, the show opens with Ben Elf and Fairy Princess Holly playing games in the meadow. It goes through many of the well known storylines from the series, including Ben being turned into a frog, cleaning Gaston the ladybird's cave and Nanny Plum the tooth fairy – the last of which culminates in a very effective flying scene that ends the first half of the show.
The second half includes King Thistle's birthday, the King's cold and arguably the best known feature of the TV show, a jelly flood.
There is some discrepancy between the live voices and those from the show, but this is a gripe rather than a concern and the target audience, the children, didn't seem to notice.
Dyson DC50i - Bagless upright vacuum cleaner - BALL Technology -...View details
Terms: LIMITED STOCK OFFER. FREE delivery to most UK postcodes - Next working day dispatch.
Contact: 01664 491439
Valid until: Monday, May 27 2013
The show has plenty of interactivity and the songs (I Am The Music Man, Happy Birthday) make it easy for children of all ages – and parents – to join in.
Based on the reaction of my children and those around me, the combination of interactivity, strong performances and effective staging - and seeing their TV favourites live - this is a success.