Peppa Pig to perform on Illawarra stage

Bekki Adams plays the title role of Peppa Pig but she admits that it's the precocious pig, and not her, who is the star of the show.

Bekki Adams plays the title role of Peppa Pig but she admits that it's the precocious pig, and not her, who is the star of the show.

Bekki Adams is on stage for the whole performance of Peppa Pig Live! Treasure Hunt but it's a safe bet hardly anyone will notice her.

The stage show isn't performed by actors in giant costumes but rather puppeteers on stage with the characters as puppets about the size of their arm.

Or "about the size a pig should be", Adams says.

While the puppeteers may seem very noticeable to grown ups, the kids are just seeing Peppa, George and Mummy and Daddy Pig.

"They completely shut it out - it's really funny," Adams says.

"I did a show when we were doing the capital city tour and my three-year-old cousin came to see the show. It took him 25 minutes to notice I was on stage.

"They just see those little characters they love and they just don't even notice any of us on the stage."

Adams has the lead role of the precocious Peppa Pig and had watched quite a few episodes when she scored the role.

"I hadn't really heard of it at all but when I got the audition, I watched a couple of episodes and thought 'oh, this is a nice little show'," she says.

"And when I auditioned and got the part and we started the show, I realised it was a giant little show.

"As a kid I did a lot of pantomime growing up, so it's a style I'm very used to.

"It's just the scale of this, just the theatres we're in and the sheer number of children we're performing for. We're already up to 85,000 kids.

"So in terms [of] the scale, I've never done anything like it before."

The stage show made its debut in Australia in October last year and was an instant success. One ticketing partner compared the rush for tickets to a Pink or Radiohead concert.

It continues on from the immense popularity of the Peppa Pig TV show, which airs four times a day and easily beats any other children's show in those timeslots.

It's also the top-rated children's show downloaded on ABC iView, with two million views per month, and manages to sell truckloads of toys and DVDs.

Still, the sudden success of Peppa Pig Live! Treasure Hunt did take Adams by surprise.

"At the start I was very surprised at how well it was received but, after doing three months of it, I realise everyone knows it," she says.

"Every child under the age of five loves Peppa and so now I'm used to every single child I ever meet knowing who Peppa is and being really excited.

"It's a bit crazy but it is really amazing."

And being Peppa - and mastering her voice - has come in very handy.

"I've won all of the brownie points with my little cousins," Adams says.

"I'm the favourite cousin now."

Peppa Pig Live! Treasure Hunt will be performed on: June 25 at Illawarra Performing Arts Centre and June 27 at Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre.

GLEN HUMPHRIES

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