This weekend we visited Newbury Corn Exchange to watch Babe the Sheep Pig Live. I was lucky enough to win a family ticket from Emma’s blog and am under no obligation to write a blog post on it. The thing is, it was really good! So I wanted to let people know, incase they were wondering about going too.
My boys, aged 5-9 are the perfect age for this production. Any younger and it may be a bit confusing and at times scary. Much older and the story might not grab them. Having said that, I am 40 and I really enjoyed it!
What I liked most about Babe the sheep pig is that it is “proper” theatre. What I mean by this, is that it is not some larger than life characters from your child’s favourite TV show prancing around on stage. It is a production that uses puppets and costumes to cleverly tell the story of Babe the sheep pig. The sheep put on hats and scarves and automatically become people at the sheep dog trails. It may sound bizarre but it works.
There is original music that fits perfectly with the story. The mask of fly the sheep dog is fantastic and under some of the lights looks like a real dog.
The one thing I would warn you about is the death of the sheep Maa. If you have a sensitive child, I think it is worth telling them the story before hand. Babe befriends Maa so it can be upsetting. The death scene itself is also a little scary. The music and lightening is dramatic and the wolf is particularly scary.
Luckily Farmer Hogget realises that Babe isn’t to blame for Maa’s death just in the nick of time and the story proceeds to training Babe for the sheep dog trails. As a piece of children’s theatre, there isn’t really anything I could fault. From the pictures of Mr and Mrs Hogget on the website I was concerned that they wouldn’t look like people. However, with the lights on the stage, they do. The cast are talented actors, singers, musicians and puppeteers too!
Babe the sheep pig is currently on tour and you can find the dates and venues on their website.