The First Hippo On The Moon

King’s Hall, Ilkley

ADAPTING a hugely popular children’s book for the stage can be a daunting prospect.

Add to this the lead character being a hippo with designs on space travel, and you can start to imagine the logistical nightmare that lay in wait for Les Petits Theatre Company.

Based on David Walliams’ original children’s book with illustrations by Tony Ross, The First Hippo On The Moon is an explosively funny space adventure that sees the enormously rich Hercules Waldorf-Franklin III and ingenious Shelia compete to be, well, the first hippo to make it to the moon. Naturally!

Brought to life with puppets and music, the show is full of colour, comedy and character that had our three-year-old spellbound.

Super songs and witty one-liners, plus a President Trump gag thrown in for the adults among the audience, this was terrific family entertainment. A sensational set was perfectly complemented by the energetic performances of the cast, which includes Dominic Allen, Alice Bounce, Caroline Bowman, Owen Jenkins and Rosie Nicholls.

If there was one minor niggly complaint, it was the poor sound quality at King’s Hall that made it hard to pick up all the dialogue. But it certainly didn’t spoil the show.

Richard Parker