REVIEW: PEPPA PIG’S BEST DAY EVER! (Theatre Royal Haymarket)

Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever!, the latest live show based on the much loved animated TV series ‘Peppa Pig’ has paused its UK and Ireland tour over the festive season to hop on a sleigh into London’s West End playing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until 2 January 2022.

Peppa Pig is excited for a special day out with George, Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig – it’s going to be her best day ever (apparently) on a road-trip full of fun adventures. From castles to caves, dragons to dinosaurs and ice-creams to muddy puddles, including Miss Rabbit, Mr Bull, Suzy Sheep, Gerald Giraffe and more!

I quite like watching Peppa Pig on TV (if there is a child in the room and it is on anyway – I don’t choose to watch it when I’m alone) and so was excited to take a young friend to see the live stage version.

But it was a huge disappointment.

Firstly, the show is played in two thirty-minute acts, with a twenty-minute interval in the middle. This is a strange choice, considering that the majority of the audience was made up of two-year-old children who are hard to keep still at the best of times. They don’t need a break to go to the toilet and at 10 am, the adults aren’t going to the bar and so it just becomes additional time where the parents have to keep the children entertained themselves. Plus they didn’t seem to understand where Peppa had gone and if she was coming back. Having seen children’s shows at over an hour long, it was strange to see this show done the way it was, when they probably would have been better watching the show straight through.

The set looked cheap and there could have been so much more done to make it look magical. Daddy and Mummy Pig were played by actors in costumes but kids Peppa and George were played by puppets operated by people on stage. Whilst I understand children probably didn’t notice the humans behind the puppets, there are so many talented child actors who I am sure could have played the parts in costumes to make it more realistic.

The story – to say this is supposed to be Peppe Pig’s Best Day Ever! was quite boring, with the family just going from place to place. It became quite repetitive after the first thirty minutes.

The actors can’t be faulted, they do the best they can with what they have been given to work with (which isn’t a great deal).

At the end, when everyone on stage is jumping in muddy puddles, people ran up and down the audience with water guns, spraying the audience which was very unexpected and met with a mixed response with some children thinking it was hilarious and others crying and wondering what was going on.

My young friend did enjoy it but still said he prefers ‘What The Ladybird Heard’ – and I agree.

★★

Reviewed by West End Wilma