Reviewed by Katy Nettleton
Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom Live on Stage is exactly what you would expect, fun filled 90 minutes of little adventures by real-life puppets as my 7 year old girl’s described the actors. The actors were brilliant, although at times when singing I found it difficult to understand the lyrics and words being sung as it was muffled through the head masks the actors were wearing.
The staging was simple and effective, it reflected the “animated TV show” well and Gaston was a big hit with the audience. Although if you are in the front rows expect to get a little bit wet! The scene was of the Little Kingdom and with interchangeable props which were flawlessly brought on and off by the support team.
I think (but don’t hold me to this) that the story was a compilation of a few that have been televised including a jelly explosion, and meeting the big people with the introduction of Lucy!
Mrs Plum was performed brilliantly and with the dress/costumes directly mirroring those on the TV made it easy for my 3 year old to follow. I was a little apprehensive at first that the show would be too young for my 7 year olds, but they joined in with dances, calling and singing so I needn’t have worried.
I did think that the first half needed a bit more of audience interaction, as the second half involved more singing and dancing which my 3 really engaged in and was smiling from ear to ear! However, I do wonder if the interval was needed and the show could have been completed in an hour with the same impact.
Overall this was a really good show, a good introduction to theatre for young ones and with the production closely reflecting the TV series it Is easy to follow for children 2 years +.
I would give this show 3.5 out of 5, as the children really enjoyed with it and thoroughly engaged with the actors but for me there was something missing to make this a brilliant family show. Definitely worth a visit if you are a Ben & Holly fan and new to the theatre.
Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom Live is currently on tour around the UK, for more information and tour dates visit www.benandhollylive.com.
For other shows at the Regent Theatre in Stoke visit www.atgtickets.com/regent-theatre.
Regent Theatre, Piccadilly, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST1 1AP | 0844 871 7649