Reviewed by Louise Styles
Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom Live on Stage visited the High Wycombe Swan on the 3rd & 4th May as part of its national tour. Armed with my 3-year-old twin girls we packed our princess Holly wands and set off. This was my girls first visit to the theatre… having known their 5 year old sister has been a regular theatre goer of late this caused much excited anticipation on the journey – the theatre AND Ben & Holly!
The great thing about the Wycombe Swan is that there is a multistory car park directly adjacent to the theatre, for night productions I’ve never had any issues with parking easily. As we attended the 1pm showing it was a little more problematic in terms of finding a space – I would advise setting off well in advance for any matinee performances. Having the best luck ever and after negotiating my large seven seater into a tight space somehow the excited girls led the way into the theatre.
Another great thing about the Wycombe Swan is that there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Despite having a capacity of just over 1000 people it’s an intimate venue that allows the audience to really see the action up close.
Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom Live on Stage was exactly what a pair of 3 year olds wanted it to be, filled with their favourite characters and storylines they know and love. Staple characters Nanny Plum, The Wise old Elf, Lucy the big girl and even Gaston the Ladybird among others, join Ben, the elf, and Holly, the fairy Princess on their journey. The sets are simple but vibrant and instantly recognizable as belonging to ‘The Little Kingdom’.
The story combines 5 or 6 of the short TV episode stories and adapts them into one well-linked script. From The Tooth Fairy to Gaston’s Messy Cave each segment worked really well on the stage combining invisibility spells, frog burps, jelly floods and flying elves and fairies. There was some audience participation, which always goes down well with children, and lots of singing and dancing. The show was just the right length of time and totally held the girl’s attention throughout.
For any Ben & Holly fans or just as a ‘first theatre visit’ I would highly recommend this show as well as this 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 Wycombe Swan visit www.wycombeswan.co.uk.
Wycombe Swan, St. Mary Street, High Wycombe, HP11 2XE | 01494 512 000