All in all, a brilliant family show, a perfect day out with entire family and a way to make happy memories in little ones lives.
We recommend it! If there is one show you would like to see this year, make it this one and you would not regret!
Mumsnet Greenwich → Read the full review
My particular highlight of the show was actually when Princess Holly, Nanny Plum, Lucy and Ben Elf flew through the night back to the Little Kingdom.
I ♥ Motherhood → Read the full review
...a basic, bright, loud and colourful show that the kids absolutely loved
Theatre, Books and Movies → Read the full review
...the girls sat gripped all the way through. I just get pleasure watching their little faces light up and seeing them interact with the show.
Mari's World → Read the full review
There were lots of songs for the children to sing along too and plenty of magic...
Chantry Primary Academy → Read the full review
it's a fun, happy show with a bright and colourful set which is faithful to how it looks on the telly which immediately gets a child's attention...
childplays → Read the full review
Lovely, wonderful, beautiful. I liked the jelly flood. I want to go again
Missing Sleep → Read the full review
The story moved quickly which kept the children's attention, they were involved throughout the story...
Family Four Fun → Read the full review
Whatever grown-ups may think, all of the children - boys and girls included - were clearly entranced with the show.
All In London → Read the full review
There was much audience participation, enjoyed by both young and not so young alike...
Ann Bawtree, The Public Reviews → Read the full review
This week we went to see Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom Live at The New Wimbledon Theatre. I'll start by saying that I think Isla really liked it and if you ask her what did you like best, she will say "The Frog Burp". This is the kind of humour I have to contend with in our house, burps and farts are hilarious to Isla and even Noah. I also know that she really liked the show because she participated when it was prompted and she got anxious when the interval started, asking me "is it coming back on?" several times! She loved that Lucy was in it, the girl from the big world and she's a big fan of Gaston (She managed to wangle an £11 ladybird out of me before we went in to the show.....).
The story is a mixture of a few of the TV episodes of Ben and Holly, including the one where they clean up Gaston's cave, The Tooth Fairy episode with Lucy and there's also a Jelly Flood thrown in for good measure. There was also an appearance by the Elf band, lead of course by the Wise Old Elf who are preparing to sing to the King, at which point Lucy suggests perhaps the King would like some different music for his birthday and a rousing rendition of 'Music Man' followed where the whole audience joined in.
My particular highlight of the show was actually when Princess Holly, Nanny Plum, Lucy and Ben Elf flew through the night back to the Little Kingdom. At this point puppets were used and I think this highlighted to me that I think I would have personally preferred the show had it been puppets the whole way through rather like the Peppa Pig show and not adults playing the parts. This small part of the show with puppets actually felt more magical, as if they really were flying. This is only my view though and Isla wouldn't even have considered how else it could have been performed.
Singing Happy Birthday to King Thistle was the final highlight of the show, Isla loves singing happy birthday! And so the show ended and I ushered a very happy little girl out of the theatre and off for some dinner at Pizza Express. Finally another indicator that Isla enjoyed herself, she tiptoed all the way from the restaurant back to the car, clearly copying what the fairies did throughout the show, she even made me do it much to the bemusement of drivers stuck in a traffic jam along the way.
We were given free tickets in exchange for a review but all views expressed are my own.
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.
I was lucky enough to run a competition a while back for tickets and I was also lucky enough to have been offered a family ticket myself so as Dartford is out local theatre we booked to see the show on Sunday.
I still don't tell the girls too much in advance as they haven't got the notion of time yet and would constantly keep on asking if we're going. We've been to a couple of birthday parties recently of children in their class celebrating their 5th birthdays, the girls are already talking about their party and it's not til July! See what I'm saying?
Anyway I picked the 1pm performance and we arrived well on time to pick up our tickets and spend a very quick £20.00 at the souvenir desk. Holly crowns and wands and these sticks with three tubes at the top that when turned on whizz round like an electronic kaleidoscope - they love 'em!
I also treated them to a £5.00 brochure which had lots of games and colouring in to do.
I won't ruin the story but it's great and the girls sat gripped all the way through. I just get pleasure watching their little faces light up and seeing them interact with the show.
"Over there!" pointing with their fingers trying to help out.
If you'd like to go check out the dates below and find the theatre closest to you, I would thoroughly recommend it as my twins loved it.
This Saturday afternoon, Mr Kelly and Miss Oddboy took a lucky group of younger children to the Grove Theatre to watch a wonderful performance of Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom. The children were engrossed throughout the show and were amazed to see the TV characters come to life on the stage! There were lots of songs for the children to sing along too and plenty of magic from Holly to keep the children entertained the whole way through (and Mr Kelly found Gaston very amusing!). Well done to all the Reception and Year 1 children who took part - they were fantastic.
Ever since the tickets arrived weeks and weeks ago, V has been talking about going to the Ben and Holly show.
Why tell her you may ask, why get her all excited? Well, we told her she MIGHT be going, then the theatre stuck a thumping great Ben and Holly sticker on the envelope. She is not stupid - she knew what they were!
Finally the great day arrived and by the time we got to the foyer she was beside herself, and even more delighted to find her cousin and uncle had come too.
Walking into the auditorium, the stage was already set with the familiar green bushes and colourful flowers from the TV series. Then Ben and Holly arrived and the fun begans for the first ever stage version of the BAFTA award-winning TV animation.
The Little Kingdom is home to fairy Princess Holly and her best friend Ben Elf. Holly is still learning how to do magic and sometimes her spells don't work out. Ben is an Elf. Elves don't do magic but they are very good at making things. Ben doesn't have wings but he flies on the back of Gaston the Ladybird.
It's pretty simple, adapter and director Richard Lewis has taken about four of the popular episodes and meshed them together with other familiar fairyland incidents, such as a ropey Elf band and a jelly flood (Yay!) into a story, complemented by original music and songs.
So, after they have cleaned Gaston's cave, they go on a trip to The Big World with tooth-fairy Nanny Plum to get 'big girl' Lucy's baby tooth.
Lucy wakes up so is shrunk in order that she can visit fairyland and they all go back to prepare for King Thistle's birthday. He has a cold so they prepare a remedy for him which he drinks rather than rubs on his feet and it turns out it's cure for baldness not flu!
The Elf band prepare for the birthday celebration which gives everyone a chance to sing 'I Am the Music Man' before they start to prepare his party food including jelly - cue a jelly flood! Yay!
OK, so for an adult, the story might veer all over the place and not follow a natural path, but youngsters will enjoy the short episodes with familiar characters and plenty of opportunities to join in and tell Ben and Holly what they should do.
At about 90 minutes long, including an interval, it's a fun, happy show with a bright and colourful set which is faithful to how it looks on the telly which immediately gets a child's attention.
The new musical adventure is from the producers of the two hugely successful Peppa Pig theatre tours but while that stage show uses puppets, this has actors in masks, which to be honest, in the picture in the programme looked a bit freaky.
But once it got started all thoughts of this disappeared and V and her cousin, (aged two and five), engaged with it straight away, especially as the performers recreated the characters accurately both in terms of costumes and voices.
Puppets were used at one stage when Princess Holly, Nanny Plum, Lucy and Ben Elf flew through the night back to the Little Kingdom and it made for a magical scene and finish to the first half.
For me, the judge of whether V is enjoying it is how fidgety she is. She is a child who doesn't like to sit still but she happily sat enthralled only moving around to swap between her seat and my lap and giving a running commentary throughout - apologies to those around us!
Her favourite part was the jelly flood obv, I won't say how it's done but there's no need to worry, no audience participation is required!
About 35 minutes per half with a 15-20 minute interval. Just right!
V is 33 months and her cousin is 5. Both seemed equally as engaged with it.
There is lots of merchandise available, pricey but good quality - T-shirts, bags, purses and Gaston cuddly toys. We got a programme for a fiver and succumbed to a 'Holly' flashing windmill. Her year-old Night Garden one had lasted for a fair few different shows before it gave up the ghost, so even though this one was £7, I figured it would see us through panto season!
"I loved the jelly flood because they got covered in it."
My son and his friend were sat absorbed throughout the show, attention only breaking briefly to pop another sweet in their mouths. Very interactive show, lots of opportunities to sing, dance and clap along with the cast (even encouraging the adults to get off their bottoms!).
Suitable for 12 + months but there were some babes in arms crying intermittently bless them, until the scene where the cast 'sssshhh' and get us all to do the same, the babies followed suit and it was nice and peaceful afterwards lol!
The show was a pleasure to watch with more than a sprinkling of magic, great costumes and well thought out set design and props. This is a perfect show for Ben and Holly fans or any child under 5 we would say. My little elf was pleased to have made the journey to Venue Cymru to see it. In his own fine words this is what he thought of it:
"Lovely, wonderful, beautiful. I liked the jelly flood. I want to go again"
We giggled about the slime from the snail, the burping frog and the king's sudden hair growth! Plenty of smiles and laughter and the good thing is there are plenty more performances until August, leaving lots of time to make sure you take your child for an enjoyable and fun filled experience.
The show lasts 1 hour 20 minutes including the interval, but this is long enough for this age range, so good value overall.
On the weekend I took a pair of 2 year olds to see Ben & Holly Live. Well, I must admit to having been a bit of an old cynic about stage shows aimed at toddlers. Could it really be worth the money and would they actually sit and watch?
Well yes it is and they sure did!!
C and his cousin were mesmerised by the whole thing and from animated conversations in the interval it was clear they were following the story too. They were both already fans of the show especially Gaston the Ladybird so there was quite a lot of concern when he cried.
The show was actually a couple of episodes knitted together which worked incredibly well as the children were familiar with the elements in the story as well as the characters. The story moved quickly which kept the children's attention, they were involved throughout the story 'pantomime style' and there were songs with actions to join in with.
I must admit to having spent more time watching the children's reactions than the show because they were quite magical. I was completely wrong, this reminded me of the pleasure of an old-fashioned puppet show as the children shouted back, giggled and sang. Theatre for little ones is wonderful it engages them and captures their imagination I thoroughly recommend going to one.
The seven year old I took along with me to see this "live on stage" show at Richmond Theatre proclaimed it a "bit babyish" when I told her what we were going to see. I became more concerned when I realised that the vast majority of other diddlies in the theatre foyer WERE somewhat younger than seven.
However, with encouragement from the staff we walked up numerous flights of stairs to the upper circle bar which had been transformed into a colouring and crafts centre for the afternoon. My young friend took a seat and I was sent to collect cut-outs, sticks, crayons, glue, scissors etc until she was satisfied with the Holly mask she had created.
Then we hit the merchandise stall. A programme for £5 (which contained lots of quizzes, games and colouring), a light whirligig for £7 and an assortment of chocolates and water for £8. Weighed down with our goodies - and taking great care of the mask we had made - we took our seats listening to the music that my young companion clearly recognised.
The show opened to reveal very colourful large fronds of grass - after all, it is the Little Kingdom. I wasn't aware that Holly is a fairy princess who's magic doesn't always go right. And I didn't know that Ben - who can't fly and who can't do magic - is her friend and is an elf. But elves, I learned, are very good at running. My companion filled me in and kept asking "Where's Gascon?" (Like I would know?).
I was impressed with Holly's happy voice and tiny fluttery wings. There were audible gasps from the young audience when we saw Holly doing some magic to become invisible - supported by fairy lights and a glitter ball. The characters - joined by Nanny Plum who sorted out the boy-into-frog spell (great burps!) - played some hide and seek and sang a song.
My young companion was totally engrossed and laughed and sang on cue. And she almost burst with happiness when Gascon (a ladybird!) arrived on stage. He barked like a dog. They tidied his cave and then went on patrol with the tooth fairy, taking a magically reduced Lucy back to the Little Kingdom, The kids loved the flying puppets bit. I was told that they were really flying by my companion. Bless.
At the interval we queued up for ice cream. And managed to get most of it on our faces. That'll teach me for only suggesting we tried not to get it on our clothes at the outset. Then we were into the second half - collecting ingredients for a special spell for the king. The young chap behind me was delighted with the spider in the web. Big squeals. There was more singing with the Elf Band. My seven year old declared the jelly flood her favourite bit. More merriment until we all joined in with singing and stand up dancing at the end.
Whatever grown-ups may think, all of the children - boys and girls included - were clearly entranced with the show. I couldn't believe that they had all stayed so quiet and good (and in their seats). And they joined in with all the singing and followed the instructions given by the cast without question. My seven year old - despite her initial views - loved every minute. And we entertained the folk on the train home by singing "Music Man" and playing hide and seek with our Holly mask. It was a thoroughly wonderful afternoon.
The show lasts for an hour and twenty minutes which includes a short interval. It's on at Richmond again tomorrow and then goes on tour around the UK. It arrives in Hackney on 6-7th July and other nearby locations include St Albans, Horsham and High Wycombe.
Well known to viewers of Cbeebie's, Ben and Holly's live show of some of the Little Kingdom tales will not fail to delight its fans. The production, playing this weekend at Richmond Theatre and then on tour, was enjoyed by an enthralled audience of two to five years olds and their adult attendants.
Characters appearing this time include, besides Ben the Elf and Holly the Fairy Princess, Gaston the ladybird, Nanny Plum the Tooth Fairy, Lucy the little girl and King Thistle, whose birthday is celebrated in song and dance.
The costumes are cleverly cartoon-like without appearing expressionless thanks to the choreography and the fairies' radio controlled, battery-powered wings flutter delightfully. Gaston, barking like a terrier, rolls smoothly across the stage, his many legs appearing to carry him with a graceful gait.
vThere was much audience participation, enjoyed by both young and not so young alike and although there is some commercial merchandising of spinning wands, whirling and sparkling with migraine inducing glitter, this is not overdone. The programmes, at £5 each, are well presented souvenirs, which along with the mandatory ice cream, makes for a pricey afternoon. At one and a quarter hours the show was a little long for the youngest theatre-goers but offered good value to its aficionados.
It might not have been the West End or Broadway but Isabelle's first visit to the theatre was still a memorable one. We all ventured to the Palace Theatre to see Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom live, it being on stage for the first time ever.
Iz loved her vantage point which was pretty much the perfect spot (clever mummy) as she sat with her hand on her face, a fave pose of late, munching through some sweets. She looks so grown up these days.
For those who don't know, Ben and Holly are an elf and fairy and are best friends. They live in the Little Kingdom and Holly has a pet ladybird called Gaston. My personal favourites are Nanny Plum and The Wise Old Elf.
It's from the same creators as Peppa Pig and for me far more sophisticated, parents will enjoy the banter and downright sarcastic tones of Nanny Plum. If Peppa is Buffy then this is Angel, cooler and funkier.
Back to the stage version, the characters and their voice are all pretty much spot on and the stage show itself is based on several of the TV episodes brought together.v
Naturally, there are limits as to what can be done on stage but we still managed Gaston, magic spells aplenty (although elves don't do magic) and no Ben and Holly experience would be complete without a Jerry Fudd, I mean a Jelly Flood.
Iz clapped, pointed and shouted at all the right times and was enthralled by the whole experience, especially seeing the characters come to life. She even got to take home her very own cuddly Gaston.
Both of my children are massive fans of Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom. Ms C likes to pretend she is Princess Holly while Mr K likes to be Ben. We also own a little castle magical playset, a toadstool playset and lunch box. Now and then, they like to watch it on TV or YouTube. When I told them that we are going to watch Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom live on stage, they were so excited! We had made a video months ago to enter the Ben and Holly competition.
There are so many popular children's shows which have been turned into live action stage shows, and I was especially looking forward to this one. Each actor has an oversized head taped around their mouth. The fairy even has flapping wings!
I love how the cast interact with the children. They make the audience count with them, to find Ben and Holly, singing with actions, clapping and magic trick! I was quite surprised that Holly disappeared inside the tree props by using lighting. It is very clever and like watching a magic show.The story is based on storylines from very well know episodes and they cleverly joined together to make this enchanting and fun show! Everything on the sets are really authentic to the animation. It was bright, colourful and they changed the stage very smoothly. I don't want to go into much detail about the whole storyline to avoid spoiling it.
I rate this show 5 stars out of 5. I would highly recommend the show to anyone, especially all Ben and Holly fans. You will not be disappointed. It is about 1 hour 20 minutes long including an interval.
This brand new UK tour is now on the road until August 2013 to deliver the magic of the hugely popular children's TV show to as many families as possible.
Thanks to Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom for providing us this opportunity!
Disclosure: We were given these tickets to do an honest review.
There is something magical about watching a child entranced watching favourite television characters come alive on stage.
Ruaridh (6) and Flora (3) just loved the stage version of the CBeebies programme Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom which has won a BAFTA award.
There was much excitement when we settled down to watch the story of young fairy princess Holly who is still learning to fly and her magic is not going according to plan.
Her best friend Ben the Elf doesn't have wings either , but he runs fast and rides on the back of his ladybird Gaston. The show takes the audience on a journey to see Ben and Holly clean up a messy cave, on a trip to The Big World with tooth-fairy Nanny Plum and even a surprise birthday party for King Thistle.
The show is full of colour, vibrancy and singing and dancing. All the ingredients for an afternoon of fun and entrancement!
Imagine hundreds of children shouting "he's behind you!" and you've pretty much got the atmosphere created by popular characters Ben and Holly.
The theatre was filled with excitement as tiny tots watched their favourite animated tv programme come to life before their eyes.
Ben (an elf) and Holly (a fairy princess) kicked the production off in panto-style with a hide and seek game.
And the bright-eyed young audience loved revealing the secret hiding places as they screamed at the top of their voices. It wasn't long before Ben and Holly were up to their usual mischief with Gaston the ladybird, creating magic spells involving slug slime and frog burps.
The show was perfectly spilt into two 30-minute acts - just long enough to stop the youngest audience members from getting restless.
There was plenty of learning along the way as the children helped Ben and Holly count to 10 and enjoyed a sing-a-long along. But for the adults, the best part was hearing the children's laughter fill the theatre.
We saw the show in Manchester yesterday and it was really good. Very engaging and entertaining overall. It is a shame about the overpriced confectionery and toys being rammed down your neck at every opportunity but that seems to be the case whatever you go and watch and wherever it is.
The show is 1h30 mins which is perfect as that is the limit for many little ones sitting still.
The humour of Nanny Plum makes this an entertaining show for the adults as well as the children!
For those unfamiliar with children's TV favourites Ben and Holly, they are best friends with a difference.
Ben is a practical, no-nonsense elf, while Holly is a fairy princess who loves to do magic, but still has a lot to learn about spells.
However, all you really need to know is children love them.
Their books and DVDs are already a big hit, so it was no surprise to see how well their live show was received by a very young audience.
On this adventure, they help Nanny Plum who is moonlighting as a tooth fairy before returning to the Little Kingdom to help King Thistle - Holly's dad - celebrate his birthday.
As you would expect, there are twists and turns along the way, as well as quite a few laughs, for the grown-ups as well as the children.
The show uses song, dance, music, puppetry and lots of pantomime-style audience participation to keep even the smallest theatre-goers entertained.
And judging by the gasps from the audience when the costumed performers first took to the stage, it manages to capture the children's imaginations and transport them to the Little Kingdom - at least until the lights come up.
A year ago I've announced Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom Live Show here on my blog before the tour has started. Towards the end of the tour, we finally got a chance to watch it ourselves in Manchester's Palace Theatre last weekend! And not only did the kids enjoyed it, the adults did too!
It was a shame that we weren't allowed to take pictures, but that also meant that I got to enjoy the show more thoroughly. It was a bit weird to look at the casts wearing masks on stage at first, but we soon got over it as the cheekiness, dancing and singing was really fun! They've linked several stories together, which brought in Ben, Holly, Gaston, Nanny Plum, Lucy, Wise Old Elf and King Thistle, with really catchy songs and dance in between, and they even interacted with the audience as well.
I was impressed with the fairy costumes where the actors can control their wings to make them flutter. I also thought that, out of all the characters, the Wise Old Elf was mostly like the Wise Old Elf in the cartoon. The interaction with the audience was really well done, and they got us shouting "Behind You! "There!", singing along and clapping, and even the adults joined in!
The kids really enjoyed the show, and Abby was already asking me when the next show will be! Hopefully there will be another one soon as I want to watch it again as well!
Disclosure: We were invited to review the live show; all opinions are honest and our own