Today’s adventure starts at home on a Saturday morning. Jamie is super excited to be going to see Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham. I’ve printed out a couple of activities for him from their website but we’ve left the TV on, what can he hear? Yes, that’s right Ben and Holly is on. So he soon settles down to watch that morning’s episode.
Ben and Holly is shown weekly on Milkshake over on Channel 5. You can also catch the show over on Nick Jr. When Jamie names his favourite program he usually says Ben and Holly. Most mornings it’s on while I’m getting ready and he’ll give me a brief synopsis of what’s happened in his own cute way. The TV show is mostly aimed at preschool children. Which is exactly what our little boy is.
Ben is an elf and Holly is a fairy princess. The story is based around their adventures but there are many other characters in the show. Jamie and I both love The wise old elf the most for his quirky sense of humour and the fact he’s not actually that wise. They all live in the Little Kingdom, hidden amongst thorny brambles. They are all very very small. Other favourite characters are Gaston the ladybird and Nanny plumb who mostly likes to cause jelly floods with her magic. (and wind up the wise old elf).
My review of Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom Live UK tour
The tour is running at many different venues across the UK in 2017. We had tickets for the theatre-royal, Nottingham. It is accessible by train, tram and bus. Plus a number of car parks. We paid in advance for parking in the Q-Park as you can park there for up to 5 hours for £5. More information can be found here.
We arrived in Nottingham for an early lunch. Once we were fed and watered we headed over the road to the Theatre Royal. The theatre was originally opened in 1865. The building has Corinthian columns outside and is certainly visually appealing.
Jamie was extremely excited by now. There was a merchandising stand near the front doors and I treated him to a Ben light up windmill (£8.00). He had it turned on for the whole performance!
We collected our tickets and eagerly took our seats in the stalls. I picked up a booster seat for Jamie so he could get an even better view of the show. It also helped keep his seat from tipping up.
Inside the theatre doesn’t disappoint. The green and cream balconies are just stunning. It’s like stepping back in time. They have a total capacity of 1,186. There are 7 licensed bars, 1 of which is also a café bar and the other a restaurant.
Running time for the show was approximately 70 minutes. This consisted of the show for 30 mins, then a 15 minute interval, followed by approx. 25 minutes more of the show. The performance started right on time. Ben and Holly soon get the audience joining in with a fun game of hide and seek. Most of the kids, and adults were eagerly pointing and shouting ‘there, there’. Adult participation was just as involved as the kids throughout.
You couldn’t help but love Gaston the ladybird. It was great fun watching Ben, Holly and Nanny Plumb clean up his cave and then have to mess it up again because Gaston was so upset to see it so clean (watch out those on the front row!) They have used stories from the TV show which is nice for the kids as it involves things that are familiar to them.
After discovering Nanny Plumb is the tooth fairy Lucy the human being child is magically shrunk to their size for fun and adventures. They fly off on a magic flight (with smoke, much to Jamie’s delight). She then helps them helps them with medicine for King Thistle and a surprise party for him.
The Wise old elf appears in part 2 of the show and they do a rendition of the music man. It was funny because Jamie and I had only just been talking about that song that morning. It’s one of his favourites so he was thrilled that they were singing it and he could join in with them.
There’s plenty of singing, dancing and actions throughout the show to keep a smile on everyone’s face. Of course, there is a jelly flood. I mean that’s standard right? Jamie has been reenacting Jelly floods since we got home and can often be heard shouting “Jelly, jelly more more more”
Jamie had asked me earlier in the day if there would be smoke in the show. Because shows need smoke right? I told him I wasn’t sure. So, of course, he was delighted when they used smoke a few times.
His favourite part of the show part 1 was as follows “When Ben elf was turned into a frog. He jumped and became a paper frog. He then opened his big black mouth”. Ha! I love how he saw that.
Jamie’s favourite part in part 2 was “When they collected a frog burp for King Thistle’s medicine”. Anyone noticing a theme there? I asked him who his favourite character was, he replies with ‘the Wise old elf, Mummy’.
Everyone also got to sing Happy Birthday to King thistle. Jamie proudly belted this out. The movements and actions of the characters were very engaging for the kids. I thought they did the performance very well. I felt very transported to the Little Kingdom. We all left with a smile on our faces.
Disclosure: We were provided with tickets for the Theatre Royal in Nottingham in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions are my own. Photos from the show are courtesy of Ben and Holly.com, all other photos are entirely my own and must not be reproduced.
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