Peppa Pig’s Fun Day Out – review

Peppa Pig brings home the bacon


Peppa, George and Daisy (Perrie Sunuwar) in Peppa Pig’s FGun Day Out. Photo: Barry Rivett

Peppa Pig celebrates her 20th anniversary this year with a new stage show Peppa Pig’s Fun Day Out.

In the last two decades, challengers for her crown have come along in the form of Hey Duggee, Bluey and a production line of live shows based on Julia Donaldson’s perennially popular stories. So, is 20 year old Peppa the attraction she once was? I soon got my answer when I saw that three performances at The Mast in Southampton were all but sold out.

The first fans of Peppa may now be grown-ups and even have pre-school kids of their own but it seems there is still appeal in these simple tales of family life. But does Peppa live on stage still offer a fun outing for a preschool child?
The production company has done an excellent job is creating the look of the animated series seen on TV. Simon Scullion’s set is colourful and, important point this, doesn’t feel it’s been done on a budget, which small scale children’s shows often do.
The plot- and I use the word as loosely as a four year old ties their shoelaces- takes us on a visit to the zoo, and, after the interval, a trip to the seaside. The fun day culminates with a birthday party.
A small cast of familiar characters are on the outing- Peppa and little brother George, of course, as well as Danny Dog and Susie the Sheep. These are puppets manipulated by actors behind them, who also provide their voices. Amy Brooke‘s interpretation of Peppa is spot on.
There occasional appearances by Mummy and Daddy Pig, and Miss Rabbit, who are played by actors in costumes. Holding the show together is a human, Perrie Sunuwar as Daisy, who maintains a high energy and infectious enthusiasm as she conducts the action and the audience.
Richard Lewis and Matt Lewis’s script for Peppa Pig’s Fun Day Out crams in most of what you might hope for in a show aimed at young children: there are little puppet animals flying around at the end of sticks, fluorescent creatures  in the dark, and blue undulating cloths creating waves. There’s no mud which may be a disappointment to some Peppa fans but there is quite a bit of water spraying, to the extent the first few rows could be labelled a Splash Zone.
There’s plenty of participation in the form of songs, physical routines and verbal interaction, but this is an age group that’s still learning about socialising and joining in, so I would suggest that you gear your child up for copying Daisy.
The production directed by Richard Lewis moves quickly and there’s lots of activity but, at over an hour including interval, some children may get bored, because not much actually happens. You won’t be expecting the humour of Hey Duggee, the depth of Bluey or the poetry of Donaldson, but you might have hoped for a life lesson or some mild peril to engage those little brains.
Perhaps this is why it is advertised as being suitable for even the youngest child. I would disagree. I think any child under three will struggle with even as undemanding a stage show as this: the concept of theatre may be a puzzle to them, they may find it hard to concentrate, they may be frightened of the dark or of large numbers of people. I say: restrict the age to three and over and make the show a little more challenging.
That aside, Peppa Pig’s Fun Day Out is well done and offers a good introduction to the magic of theatre.
Peppa Pig’s Fun Day Out is touring the UK throughout 2024.  Click on the website for dates and links
Paul paid for his ticket.