Adapted by Richard Lewis
Produced by Fierylight Opera House Manchester
November 16-17, 2019; 60min
It is a truth universally acknowledged that any child under the age of five has probably been through some form of Peppa Pig obsession. Trust me, resistance is futile when it comes to the perky pink pig.
As is the way now with popular kids’ TV shows, Peppa Pig can be enjoyed live on stage, thanks to critically-acclaimed producers of children’s theatre, Fierylight.
Peppa’s Best Day Ever! is the latest stage incarnation from the team, a colourful, crowd-pleasing affair, directed and adapted by Richard Lewis with jaunty music from BAFTA award-winning composer Mani Svavarsson.
A versatile cast of seven bring Peppa and the gang to life using large semi-mobile puppets, including Mummy and Daddy Pig, little Brother George and school pals including Danny Dog and Suzy Sheep.
There is even a show-stealing cameo from (our fave!) Mr Bull, who was - of course - digging up the road.
The puppets - and indeed all the beautifully-drawn sets - faithfully recreate the look of the TV show, meaning the Peppa the young audience sees on stage is exactly the Peppa they have watched at home.
Lizzie Burder’s Daisy acts as a sort of narrator/ conduit between the audience and Peppa and her pals, her infectious never-flagging energy keeping proceedings skipping along.
The story sees Peppa & Co head off on their "best day ever", visiting caves and castles - fitted around songs and stories - before finishing things off with a splash in some muddy puddles.
The little ones lap it up and there even seem to be a few winks to the parents over some of the common, affectionate eye-rolling elements of the TV show - Miss Rabbit’s incredible work ethic, the fact that George can only say one word, "dinosaur", and that (whisper it) Peppa is actually a bit of a bossy madam.
This is a fun piece of children’s theatre that really does do what it says on the tin. It’s not without flaws - a retelling of George and the Dragon felt a little superfluous and certainly lost the interest of my four year old - but the young audience undoubtedly left happy, having seen their idols up close and personal on stage. And the adults will probably be humming the catchy earworm songs for days.