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Animal magic as Hippos wish for the moon


The First Hippo on the Moon, Warwick Arts Centre, until Sunday 4 June
At Hippo school Sheila told Hercules her one big dream was to be the first hippo on the moon - Hercules told Sheila she was a pig. So begins this family play based on David Walliams' book.
Told through incredibly skilful puppetry, various jungle animals get together to help Sheila realise her hippo-sized dream of lunar landing.
Completely oblivious to Sheila's out-of-orbit plan, Hercules has the backing and the resources of NASA and looks likely to make his the hoof print the first on the moon.
The play is staged for laughs, with plenty of lines designed for the parents in the audience. There's a lot of toilet humour, which unfortunately didn't seem to raise as many laughs from the young audience as the script-writers had obviously hoped.
Parents are challenged to spot the voice of David Walliams in the production, children the real moral of the tale.
Expect minor audience participation, mass-audience clapping and a song or two. This is good family theatre for half term and is billed as suitable for ages three plus. My five year old was fully hooked with the story, if not laughing his way through the hour, but it was too young a show for my eight year old.
If you have a young child who loves animals, then this show will seem like a little piece of magic.

Winner!