It started with an X Factor style intro, and ended with a good old singalong between the sworn enemies the pigs and the wolf, and it was total fun and laughter in between. I’m talking about the fun new reworking of ‘The Three Little Pigs’ that has been playing at Birmingham Town Hall this week, with a star turn by Birmingham’s own Simon Webbe.
We all know the story, but it is fun seeing it bought to life by the an engaging and talented cast. The piggies show their charactors early on, Daniel Buckley is clever and kind, Leanne Jones is concerned with the environment, whilst Taofique Folarin is strong in spirit and body, but a little short on brain power (missing out 2 when counting to 3…). When their mother (Alison Jiear) tells them their sty is too small and they need to find new homes, the stage is set for a showdown with the Big Bad Wolf who made bacon of their daddy.
The songs are funny and the lyrics certainly need to be listened to carefully as they are so witty, but the musical really comes to life when Simon Webbe hits the stage. He is fabulous, super funny as the Big Bad Wolf in search of a porky barbecue. His song about being ‘just misunderstood’ is just hilarious, especially with a Strictly Come dancing style interlude that sees the wolf dancing a ‘foxtrot’ with one of his backing singers, who also just happens to be an owl. The leather jacket, the inhaler that gives him a touch of extra ‘puff’ for blowing down a house made of bricks, and all the choice lines (describing two of the pigs as a Double Whopper, and all three as an ‘all you can eat buffet) all this makes this wolf super memorable, and should make Simon an absolute shoe-in come panto season.
The Three Little Pigs is a lovely retelling of a classic story that works so well on the stage. Highly recommended viewing for adults and children alike.