Peppa Pig’s Party is a live theatre show for kids who adore Peppa and family (know any who don’t?), and their parents who know every episode scene for scene, word by word. Thank goodness for the recently released new episodes, by the way!
I saw the play at London’s Hackney Empire in November, taking my three and a half year old daughter, and accompanied by three other dads and their similarly aged girls.
The theatre was packed, despite it being 10am on a very wet Sunday morning – the day after Halloween. The kids weren’t exploding but there was a definite sense of kids TV celebrity in the air.
The show opens to a scene in Peppa’s garden. A human friend of Peppa’s (a human in Peppa Pig? – now they really are stretching reality) tells us that it’s Peppa’s birthday. There’s some decent panto-like “Behind You!” shouting when George appears at a window, and the girls were by now totally hooked. Soon Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig and a host of Peppa’s friends appear – sitting on the arms of bubbly puppeteers.
I wasn’t surprised that the biggest shout went up not for Peppa but for the iconic Daddy Pig – who got the adults (especially the mums) chuckling with his boasts of being an expert at whatever he was just about to fail to accomplish.
There’s several scenery changes – garden, kitchen, nature trail, on the train – and events such as butterfly chasing, cake making and present opening. But the hottest topic of post-show conversation among the dads was the absence of Peppa’s supposed best friend Suzie Sheep. Had they had another quarrel? Is she planning her own spin off show? Maybe she was helping Mrs Rabbit, who does seem to do most of the work around town…
The kids didn’t mind the fact that the characters were attached to puppeteers’ arms, and all seemed to enjoy the interaction, singing and dancing in the aisles.
This was my daughter and friends’ first big theatre visit, and they were buzzing at the end of it. But it was nice to pass them over to their mums when home and settle down to… yet another viewing of Peppa Pig!
– Simon Jary