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INTERVIEW: Peppa Pig creators and producer speak about their new project, and how hard it is to live up to the hype around Peppa

PUBLISHED: 15:31 24 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:31 24 May 2017

Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom full cast

Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom full cast

Archant

They also relay how the idea for Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom came about

From the producers of the hugely successful Peppa Pig theatre tours, Fiery Light Productions, comes the welcome return visit of the live stage show, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom to Dartford.

Ben and Holly have fun and games helping Gaston clean up his messy cave; they go on a trip to The Big World with tooth-fairy Nanny Plum; and still have time to plan a surprise for King Elf’s birthday party, complete with an unplanned jelly flood.

KoS speaks to producer, Phil Davies, and creators mark Baker and Neville Astley about the success they’ve had and where the idea behind the theatre tour came from.

After the success of Peppa Pig, Mr Davies claims they felt like they had a lot to live up to.

He said: “Every episode is a challenge, and we’re really pleased with the response from viewers, but Peppa Pig was a lot to live up to.”

The trio admit they felt like a loose end when Peppa Pig came to an end but were raring to go on a new series.

Mr Baker said: “Peppa is set in a world that is basically the everyday would that we live in. The stories come from everyday events. We though it would be interesting to make a series which was set in a magical world but where the stories still start off from everyday events - if that makes sense! Also, having “magic” as an element was exciting. We took the approach that the fairy “magic” would almost always go wrong and lead to unexpected results.”

Mr Astley added: “Another starting point was that we wanted to make a series that was equally for boys and girls. We knew this would be a challenge but that’s what made it interesting. This is why the series is “Ben and Holly’s Little Kingsdom” rather than say “Holly’s Little Kingdom”. We try to make an equal number of elf adventures (I suppose more appealing to boys) and fairy adventures (which are a natural for girls”.”

Working in the make-believe constantly means the creator and producers admittedly feel as though they’re living in an unreal world.

“Working in animation is a fantastic job,” says Mr Davies. “Yes, animators do inhabit a world of make-believe. We have to believe in the worlds we create. We talk about the characters as if they are real people. Mot animators are very much children at heart.”

And they’re all really glad they get to work with the same team again.

Mr Astley comments: “We’re so lucky that in the UK we have some of tghe most talented animators, artists, designers and filmmakers in the world.”

But Mr Baker adds that although the cast is older, they’re all still doing the same job so it’s also familiar.

“The process is the same. I suppose in the detail of each script we can use more complex language, and the storytelling can be more complex, for instance having several threads to a storyline. In reality, everything we do is a huge challenge, whether it’s for audiences who are two or 92.”

The show will be coming to Dartford’s Orchard Theatre on July 1 and 2.

For tickets visit orchardtheatre.co.uk

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