We were on the train to the city for one of the Australian premiere performances of Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom – Live on Stage when Millie told me she was most excited to see King Thistle.
Luckily King Thistle was part of the live show and Millie was one of a theatre full of youngsters grinning and jumping with anticipation before the curtain rose.
For parents who (almost unbelievably) don’t know about the incredibly popular ABC Kids program, the Little Kingdom – where everyone is very, very small – is home to young fairy princess, Holly and her best friend, Ben, who is an elf. They live in the Little Kingdom, a tiny land where flowers and grass rise high above them and every day is an adventure.
We caught one of many shows at Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre over the Easter long weekend and it was the highlight of Millie’s weekend, even surpassing the excitement of the Easter bunny.
Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom – Live on Stage is in two 30 minute halves, and sees Ben and Holly help Gaston the Ladybird clean up his messy cave, go on a trip into The Big World with tooth fairy Nanny Plum and plan a surprise birthday party for King Thistle.
The performance is direct from London’s West End and features full-size characters in colourful costumes, and had Millie enthralled. She selected a Holly doll from the merchandise stall on the way in, and cuddled her new friend all the way through the show. How I managed not to buy a whizzy light stick (it seemed every second child was holding one) was a small miracle.
It’s a lively performance with lots of audience interaction. Kids are encouraged to jump out of their seats and “fly like Holly” or sing along to some well-known tunes.
Millie could see perfectly fine from her seat in the Dress Circle, helped by a booster cushion supplied by the theatre. She lost a bit of interest in the show towards the end, preferring to talk and dance with the other children in neighbouring seats, but she is only two! Most children had reached the end of their patience about half way through the last act, but it didn’t matter.
With a wave goodbye, Millie bid a very fond farewell to her favourite characters and is still telling everyone she went to the “Ben & Holly show”.
To see her happy little face throughout the performance reminded me to keep taking her to events like this. They’re only young once and I hope Millie grows up remembering all the wonderful things she did as a little girl.
There’s still shows on in Sydney, Newcastle and Perth before the Australian tour wraps up. Tickets are available from Lifelike Touring.