Reviewed by Rosemary Knight
I am a big fan of David Walliams’ children’s books, so I was delighted to have the opportunity to take my three-year-old grandson, Oliver, to watch the Les Petits Theatre Company production of The First Hippo on the Moon, at the Lowry Theatre in Salford, Manchester.
Fans of David Walliams’ best-selling book will already know the tale of Sheila, beautifully played in a hippo costume by Alice Bounce, who aspires to be the first hippo to travel to the moon. Unfortunately, her rich and famous rival Hercules has already made plans to get there before her, so the race is on to discover who can reach the moon first. Alice has no fuel to power her home-made rocket so Silver Bob, the sleepy gorilla, informs her of an alternative way to power the rocket which involves lots of poo, trumping and toilet humour, much to the delight of the young audience. As the puppets collect the poo for the fuel, the young children were laughing themselves silly.
Puppeteers, Dominic Allen and Lauren Buckley, play porcupines Scratch and Sniff, while Owen Jenkins does a fantastic job playing Keith, the huge giraffe and Rosie Nicholls plays Derek the ostrich. This is so brilliantly done that you forget that there is a person behind the puppet and just watch this fantastic show. There is a very simple but effective set, consisting mainly of palm trees which are regularly moved around.
This is a funny, fantastically silly show, full of jokes, singing and dancing and all the audience absolutely loved every minute. Oliver was entertained throughout the performance and the little children all around us were laughing their socks off.
At just an hour long, this was the perfect length of time for little ones to be entertained without becoming restless, not that there was any chance of that as they were all too busy laughing.
Tickets cost from £13.50 to £16 (booking fees may apply).
The First Hippo on the Moon is at The Lowry in Manchester from 22-25 June 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.thelowry.com or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000