Review: Peppa Pig’s Surprise

The cult of Peppa Pig is nothing to turn your snout up at. Indeed, if you have a kid of pre-school age, then enjoy it while you can. No, seriously, not only does the hit TV show offer parents a much-needed breather while the little ones curl up in front an episode, but you’ll be pining for it yourself by the time their little heads are filled with Justin Bieber, One Direction or whoever’s next off pop’s conveyor belt.

That is to say, if you think taking your kid to a Peppa Pig live stage show is a stressful affair – and yes, it can be – then wait until you have to accompany them to the scream-a-thon that is a pop concert full of pre-pubescents. Not that Peppa Pig doesn’t hold a pop star-like allure to those of a certain age. She is, after all, a billion-dollar-grossing global megastar with a fervent fan following – just like the Biebs and 1D.

That much was evident at the King’s Theatre on Saturday when, after much teasing, the precocious piglet made her grand entrance, eliciting a rapturous response from the little ‘uns in attendance.

Peppa Pig’s Surprise, the brand new live stage show centered around everyone’s favourite pig family, stays close to the TV series and had the kids singing and giggling from beginning to end.

The fun and games start with Peppa playing outside with her pals. Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig (played by actors, whereas the smaller characters are moved around the stage by puppeteers dressed in black) have a big surprise planned for Peppa and her brother George, and everyone is very excited when they find out it’s a trip to the seaside.

Guided by dungaree-clad human friend Daisy (played by the easily likable Emma Grace Arends), there’s lots of fun to be had en route – including a game of I-Spy which the audience is invited to join in on – and once at the beach there’s lots of singing and dancing as they make sandcastles, bury Daddy Pig in the sand, and enjoy a dance party with Mr Potato.

In a nustshell, Peppa Pig’s Surprise is a whole lot of fun, with songs aplenty, giant bubbles, and lots and lots of opportunities for audience participation.

Over the course an hour (split by a 20-minute interval), there’s well-received renditions of the Bing Bong Song and Mr Potato Is Coming To Town, and many of the show’s most popular characters appear – though sadly, Zoe Zebra, a favourite of many kids, doesn’t make an appearance.

Still, no one seemed to be complaining, such was the fun everyone was having.

Words: Marius McKee