Watching your two-year-old daughter’s face light up with glee, when the pre-schoolers’ heroine Peppa Pig steps onto the stage is a moment every parent should experience.
Despite my hopes of avoiding commercial kids characters, and the associated paraphernalia, I admited defeat a while back when my little one exclaimed ‘Peppa Pig’ totally unprompted on seeing a T-shirt in the supermarket.
Where she discovered the delights of Peppa and co., I do not know. But what I do know is that Peppa’s become part of our toddler life, so we couldn’t miss the chance to see her in the flesh at the Grand Theatre.
Mini-musical Peppa Pig’s Adventure features Peppa and pals Suzie Sheep, Pedro Pony and Gerald Giraffe, as well as her little brother George - who clearly must be a genius, despite uttering few words other than ‘dine-saw’, as he’s attending school alongside his big sister and her pals - as they prepare for and go on a school camping trip.
New girl Daisy makes friends with the audience, and instantly gets the children involved with a game of hide and seek as she looks for Peppa.
After a quick music lesson, with a sub-plot of team work and listening to others, off the classmates go into the forest.
Here the real magic began, with puppetry and UV effects creating beautiful moments, as well as the fun of a quick rain shower - the perfect excuse for jumping in muddy puddles, a must-do for any Peppa fan.
At around 90 minutes, including the interval, the show is a great length for pre-schoolers, and held my daughter’s attention from beginning to end.
She beamed, wide-eyed throughout, responded to every request to shout out, clap, sing and dance, and spent the rest of her day telling anyone she encountered that she’d seen ‘Peppa Pig, George, Madame Gazelle and Daddy Pig at the theatre’.
So, love or loath the somewhat cynical marketing behind these TV shows, the live theatre experience has obviously done its job and sparked something in her imagination - that or taken the Peppa Pig passion to a whole new level.