“ELVES can run really fast and I’m an Elf,” declared Ben as Holly fluttered around the stage displaying her flying talents as the stage adaptation of the children’s TV favourites came to Nottingham’s Theatre Royal..
It was always going to be a challenge translating the animated TV show of Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom to the stage, but as I looked around me at the delighted faces of youngsters in the audience - it appeared that it had been a successful transition.
My daughter Grace, who is six and her seven year-old friend Poppy, despite being older than the pre-school majority who the show is aimed at, enjoyed the show and were particularly delighted with the flying scene where puppets were used to simulate the magic.
The decision to provide the actors with full head masks with painted faces of the characters enabled the youngsters to easily identify their favourites from Nanny Plum to King Thistle to the Wise Old Elf.
And their TV voices were carefully emulated by the actors which helped make it more ‘real’ from the children’s perspective.
Ben and Holly take the audience into their Little Kingdom for fun and games helped by Gaston the Ladybird and a very clever jelly flood, which filled the stage with a sea of red.
As well as cleaning up Gaston’s cave they went on a Tooth Fairy mission with Nanny Plum before magically shrinking little girl Lucy and taking her on a trip to their magical land where elves, fairies and insects live in harmony.
The costumes and scenery were simple yet effective and the involvement of the audience with singing and dancing helped entertain the young and the not so young alike