Last week my daughter and I went with 4 other mums and under 5’s to the New Wimbledon Theatre to see, Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom. We were sitting 5 rows from the front with a great view of the stage and my daughter was completely entranced from the very first moment. Ben, Holly, Wise Old Elf, Nanny Plum, King Thistle and Lucy from the “Big World” were all adults with rather strange but very convincing character masks that the children loved. I think the characters appearing as life size made the whole show all the more special for the children. Whilst the adults may have preferred the puppet scene where the characters flew back to the Little Kingdom, there is no doubt in my mind that a garishly brightly coloured stage with just as brightly coloured characters is the best way to capture little imaginations and keep them entertained.
Gaston, the ladybird who thinks he is a dog also played a big role. This large plastic wheely bug was pushed around the stage and delighted all the children, his cave was tidied, he fetched sticks and flew Lucy back to the Little Kingdom.
The story consisted of highlights from the television series and the children seemed to be familiar with the tales of toothfairies, the magic kingdom and King Thistle.
In the second half of the performance a special medicine was mixed up to make King Thistle’s cold better and Lucy was there for King Thistle’s birthday before she had to return to the real world by morning. Lots of fun songs and dancing which the kids (and adults!) in the audience loved and enthusiastically joined in with the words and actions. My daughter is still singing the songs, a clear sign of enjoyment.
I have seen a few Theatre performances for children that try to be too subtle and put quite a sophisticated spin on kids storylines and I would not say these are always successful. This was a basic, bright, loud and colourful show that the kids absolutely loved.
Great value for money (even the Programme at £5, is full of colouring and great pictures) and overall I think worthy of a 9 out of 10.
And if you want to see the original cartoon.. take a peak at this:
Read more about the Ben & Holly show here.