Who was The First Hippo on the Moon? Adaptation of David Walliams’ book coming to Letchworth’s Broadway Theatre next week

David Walliams on stage with the cast of The First Hippo on the Moon, an adaptation of his book by L

David Walliams on stage with the cast of The First Hippo on the Moon, an adaptation of his book by Les Petits Theatre Company. Photo: David Parry/PA Wire - Credit: PA

We all know who the first man on the moon was, but who was the first hippo on the moon? You can find out in Letchworth next week, when an adaptation of the David Walliams story comes to town.

The Broadway Theatre in Letchworth.

The Broadway Theatre in Letchworth. - Credit: Archant

A theatre production based on The First Hippo on the Moon, written by the Little Britain star, is coming to the Broadway Theatre in Eastcheap for two days – Monday and Tuesday.

The show, suitable for kids aged three and up, is put on by Les Petits – the children’s arm of immersive theatre company Les Enfants Terribles – and is billed as an ‘explosively funny space adventure’, featuring larger-than-life puppets, live music and sundry varieties of mayhem.

The story follows plucky hippo heroine Sheila as she builds a dung-powered rocket to try to beat millionaire playboy Hercules Waldorf-Franklin III to the moon.

Broadway Theatre creative programmer Sue Scott-Davison told the Comet: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be bringing the very first stage adaptation of David Walliams’ latest book for younger children to the Broadway Theatre.

David Walliams' book The First Hippo on the Moon.

David Walliams' book The First Hippo on the Moon. - Credit: Archant

“What makes this special is that David Walliams usually writes for an older age group, and I just thought because we’ve had such a fantastic reception so far with our work for a younger audience this would be great.

“It’s the only stage production in the Easter period, apart from this it’s films – so we’re hoping it gets a lot of attention.

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“It’s a season of firsts here at the first stage in Letchworth, from our opening with the debut of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice to Waiting for God, which has its world premiere here.

“I’m really keen to bring new work here – which is a gamble, but it’s paid off so far for us!

“This promises to be a lovely Easter treat for children aged three and above, and their families of course.”

Ubiquitous TV presenter, comedian and writer David Walliams’ Roald Dahl-esque children’s books have been translated into 45 different languages to be enjoyed by children across the world, with more than 9.5 million copies sold in the UK alone.

Sheila is portrayed by Alice Bounce, wearing a blubbery suit, while her friends – ostrich Derek, porcupines Scratch and Sniff, giraffe Keith and ape Silver Bob – are represented by rod puppets.

The production has been touring the UK for the past few months, with critic Sam Marlowe summing it up in her review for The Times as ‘sweet and naughty enough to please David Walliams’ littlest fans’.

The First Hippo on the Moon is on at the Broadway Theatre at 2pm and 4pm on Monday and 11am and 2pm on Tuesday. Tickets are £14 each, with family tickets – four people, maximum two adults – for £48.

To book tickets, call the box office on 01462 681088 or see broadway-letchworth.com.

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