15-16 July 2015
Reviewed by Lorna Templeton
A first trip to the theatre is something you’ll remember forever, and the crowds of children waiting outside the King’s Theatre in Glasgow to see their favourite TV show live on stage were in for a treat.
Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom is a huge favourite among preschool children and my 3 year old daughter is no exception. She had been asking all day if Ben, Holly, Nanny Plum, Gaston and The Wise Old Elf would be there and happily the answer was yes! Performing to a crowd of children full of ice cream and waving light-up windmills is a challenge for any performer, never mind performers with almost their full heads covered in elaborate character masks! But the cast did a wonderful job of telling the story of Ben Elf and Princess Holly as they played hide and seek, cleaned poor old Gaston’s cave, shrank their human friend Lucy for a trip to the Little Kingdom and, as always, ended up swimming in a sea of jelly!
The costumes were accurate and inventive, the sets were very well thought out, and the songs were exciting and a welcome opportunity for the kids to get up and dance. The sequence before the interval with small puppet versions of the characters flying through the sky was a particular highlight.
The only very tiny quibble I could have is with the ending, which was rather abrupt. At the very least a curtain call would have perhaps been a gentler way to let the children know their heroes were leaving. But it’s a minor point in what was otherwise a really special experience with my daughter, who I’m sure has never sat still for that length of time in her life, and she hasn’t stopped talking about it since we left the theatre.
I’d highly recommend the show for all children that age. Come prepared to buy merchandise, balloons, ice cream, but it’s all part of the experience, and after this entertaining 90 minutes of fun you’ll be guaranteed a very satisfied child with happy memories of their first time at the theatre!
Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom Live is currently touring the UK, for more information or to book tickets visit www.benandhollylive.com.
King’s Theatre, 297 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JN | 0844 871 7648