A family lifestyle, arts and culture blog.


Review: Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom at New Theatre, Cardiff.

Today we went to see the wonderful Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom at New Theatre in Cardiff. Molly adores Ben and Holly, and I have to admit it's the kind of TV show I can watch over and over again and I was very keen to see how it would transfer from TV to stage.

The theatre was buzzing with fans of the children's show, and the staff were all very helpful in making sure everyone knew what they needed to do and where they needed to be.

The Little Kingdom follows the friendship between Ben the Elf and Holly the Fairy, from magic spells to meeting human folk, it's full of adventure and fun and with the stage version we had plenty of opportunities to join in with the show!

The stage set was minimal, with wooden boards full of greenery and flowers. The props were also mostly made from wood and it was easy to follow each section of the performance without an overcomplicated set. 

The show opened with the classic Ben and Holly music and the whole theatre was bustling with excitement. Family shows are often a lot noisier so it was sometimes distracting during the quieter moments of the show, but at the end of the day that's life when it comes to children and it means you can relax a little bit when it comes to fidgeting and squeals of joy, which is always a good thing when you're with the kids!

I liked that the show was split into two parts and each part was short enough to keep the attention of all the children. The show included a mixture of stories, my favourite being the 'Jelly Flood' in the second half.

I think it was a bit hard to get into mostly because the costumes don't allow for expressions, so it feels a bit odd at first to see. Molly didn't stop smiling throughout though, so she obviously wasn't bothered by it and maybe it's because I'm not used to character costumes performing on stage.

Nanny Kim came along and we both agreed that the songs were really delightful. Some were soft and sweet and others were fast paced and we were able to join in alongside the characters, singing and dancing and generally having lots of fun!

Some of the voices were amazing, our favourites being Nanny Plum, Holly and the Wise Old Elf. It felt like the characters were actually in the theatre! I didn't quite click with Ben's voice, but it didn't hinder the show. I think I would have liked to have seen the characters actually flying on apparatus for certain scenes, as cute as the flight scene was, it just didn't feel as magical.

It was so nice to see Molly so excited and involved in the show, and I think that's the main point with family performances. It is totally about the children, and this show was, of course, very tailored towards the little ones.

If you have Ben and Holly fans then this is definitely the show for you!

Disclosure: I received tickets in exchange for this show. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.

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