TAKE an enchanting trip to Hogget’s Farm this Easter.
Babe, The Sheep Pig is on at The Lowry, Salford Quays, and is a charming tale of friendship, adventure and bravery.
The story is based on Dick King-Smith’s 1983 children’s book The Sheep-Pig but, I have to admit, I’m more familiar with the 1995 film Babe (I was 13, saw it at the cinema three times and even gave up bacon – for two weeks).
But tonight wasn’t about me and my love for a movie pig. My friend and I had taken her little boy, who turns three in a few weeks, for his first trip to the theatre.
The little one appeared mesmerised as he exclaimed ‘pig’ and ‘sheep’ in glee as the combination of handcrafted puppets, actors in animal costumes or human masks of ruddied, exaggerated faces entertained the young crowd with song and dance.
While the show has a pure innocence, there is also a dark side towards the end of the first act.
Most stage shows and musicals leave you with a song in your heart and spring in your step as you bound out of the auditorium at the end of the first part to fill up on ice cream.
But not our Babe, not that the kids seemed to mind – well, maybe some did.
My little theatre buddy couldn’t wait for Act II and the vibe soon changed to a happier one as the pig who discovers he has a talent for herding takes to the showground.
With the help of his adopted Mum, Fly the Sheep Dog, the polite piglet manages to win over even the most suspicious of sheep.
But can a small pig make it in a dog’s world? And when his farmyard friends are in trouble, can Babe save the day?
Adapted for the stage by Olivier Award-winning playwright David Wood OBE, there’s only one thing left to say – “that’ll do pig”.