22-23 April 2015
Reviewed by Veronika Royle
A superb Show for everyone.
On Wednesday we have had an amazing opportunity to take my children (aged 2, 2 and 5) to Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom Live on Stage at The Hexagon in Reading.
Getting to the venue is extremely easy as the Broad Street Mall Car Park is attached to the venue, with plenty of parking – especially for mother and child, allowing safe and easy access to and from the event. The Mall itself also offers opportunities to eat, or access to nearby restaurants of food chains in or around Reading’s Oracle Shopping Centre.
Plenty of display in the foyer made it very early on obvious to the children that they would be in for a treat, with little cut-outs, so that they could pretend to be Ben or Holly, building the excitement in advance.
Theatres can be a daunting experience, especially for my little people – but not in this instance. All 3 children were absolutely mesmerised by the whole show and kept in the moment throughout. The production was spectacular with very good lighting and characters that were easy to see. Although we had the privilege to be seated near the front of the audience, I did sneak to the back to see how the experience was here and it was equally good. The balcony is another great opportunity to see the show from as it is not quite as intimidating yet still the whole atmosphere and captured.
But you might ask what stood out for us? Well actually I have to say that I turned to a child around the age for 5-6 and Jacob and I pretty much agreed on all of our favourite moments, which I would love to share with you!
– Every time that magic was about to happen we had fun lighting such as disco balls. I could see him looking around to find out what was about to happen next.
– Gaston – oh my god, I think we need him as a pet at home! An absolutely outstanding character and one of our now favourites. He moved the audience – literally, and even if it was only to seek shelter, because when Gaston cried, we all got wet! A great laugh and superb effect for all of us!
But as I mentioned above, the production really stood out, and was so effective to get us all involved through the interaction with the audience – we were all singing, following the cast in their actions, pantomime – it spook to all ages – my girls who are two were as captivated, as my 5 year old son and mummy (aged 37 going on 6). The special effects such as glow in the dark puppets flying around, and the fantastic scenery had us all living in the Little Kingdom.
My children had such a fantastic time – singing, shouting at the cast, laughing that almighty belly laugh that only children seem to be able to do and pulling the funniest faces at the giant spider, the slug with the “real” slimy trail and a burping frog.
I can wholeheartedly recommend this show to anyone with small children. The production is definitely receiving a 5* review and so is the venue The Hexagon in Reading. Easy parking, on-sight food and drinks, super-friendly staff and clean facilities made this a fantastic afternoon – one which my children will not forget too soon.
Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom Live on Stage is currently on tour around the UK. For more information or to book tickets visit www.benandhollylive.com/tour.php.
The Hexagon, Queens Walk, Reading, RG1 7UA | 0118 9606060