It has been said that all the world is a stage, and all of us merely players. However when it comes to Peppa Pig, some players are more equal than others.
As a reviewer for many years I have been lucky enough to enjoy (and very occasionally endure) a vast array of productions from Shakespeare to Sing-along-a-Sound of Music (three times). But nothing compares to seeing Peppa and her friends when you have a toddler on your lap.
Raffie doesn’t do sitting down, so I looked around anxiously when we arrived. The only crying face I could see in the auditorium was Raffie’s. “I want to go home Daddy,” he sobbed, “I don’t like it.” But thanks to an emergency biscuit and a tub of chocolate ice cream, we managed to make it until the curtain rose and Raffie then sat, stunned into submission. He even forgot to eat his ice cream, and just chewed his spoon resolutely while the show went on.
From the car park to the cafe, the theatre was heaving with excitement. The queue for the merchandise became longer and longer, while swarms of children raced into the auditorium squeezing Peppa plushes and waving flashing windmills.
Carrying puppets on their arms, the cast did a sterling job of bringing Peppa and her friends to life. It may not have been Shakespeare, but it worked for the audience, and remarkably Raffie lasted until the last 10 minutes, when during every quiet moment in the performance chose to ask loudly “Is it time to go home yet?”
And finally, yes it was. After spending £7.50 on a flashing windmill, despite the offer of something useful like a swim bag instead-“I don’t need a bag Mummy, I NEED a windmill”-we set off home.
The rain lashed down outside the theatre. But even that failed to dampen Raffie’s spirits after his first full theatre show-a vast improvement on the ten minutes we spent at the pantomime in December.
Whatever it is that Raffie loves about Peppa Pig, there is method in the madness of the noise, the excitement and, of course, a flashing windmill.
It was worth every penny to hear the words “I had a lovely time at the Peppa Pig show, I loved it.” And so as the curtain rises on a new interest in the stage, I’m sure Peppa would be delighted to hear he’s already asking to go back for more.
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