‘Peppa Pig Live’ – Victoria Theatre, Halifax

I’ll be honest, I’ve never really been into the whole Peppa Pig oeuvre. The titular little runt initially passed me by. I found Peppa to be belligerent, gobby and brattish. I don’t know why, I just did. But that was until recently, until I read about the Peppa media furore, the Twitter frenzy and the ridiculous mumsnet controversy. It was at that point, that moment in time, in my own personal zeitgeist, that my eyes truly opened.

Now the word ‘controversy’ doesn’t mean that Peppa has links to MK Ultra, ISIS or ties to people trafficking and Mexican drug cartels, not that I know of anyway. Although you can’t look at Disney+ anymore and not think about the Nazi sympathising*. 

Peppa Pig episodes may, on the surface, seem a tad repetitive, simple and childlike. But scratch beneath that surface and it’s au contraire my dear readers, au contraire. Take the episode ‘Momo’. It’s a bit of a dark one this, dealing with idiot fuckwits on social media. Although by a strange twist, said episode was hacked by idiot fuckwits on social media. My own favourite episode is the absolute time-served classic ‘Rescuing Miss Rabbit!’, where Miss Rabbit gets stuck on top of the local library’s roof while trying to rescue Mr. Bull. It’s a right riveter, and it’s a real hoot. Go watch it. NOW!!!

Now the Mr. Bull character is known as a cowboy builder in Peppatown and can a bit of a knob. He gobs off and acts all hard if he’s got a bit of an audience, we all know the type. Now I don’t hate him or owt, I don’t hate anything, in fact I love as hard as I can, but him, he just sticks in my craw. Plus he’s always coughing, spluttering and chucking sickies, and that’s a ballache when you’ve booked him for a job to do at yours. You know how it is, you’ve had to take annual leave to wait in for him, then he phones you last minute and sez he can’t make it. Brilliant, thanks Mr. Bull. Mr. chuffin’ Bullshitter moor like. Eh. Eh!!! How he ended up doing a job on the library roof is beyond me. Probably pissing about wi’ his mate Mr. Zebra, who can be a bit on a bell an’ all. So, they roped in poor old Grampy Rabbit cos he was the only person who could rescue them off the roof. What an absolute fucking nightmare. 

Anyway it got sorted and they got off the roof, but Peppa, the feisty almost latter day Johnny Rotten type, gave Mr. Bull an’ Mr. Zebra a right bollocking. And it was at that point that I fell in love with our Peppa. She stood her ground and spoke up for Grampy Rabbit. She even twatted someone for bullying Suzi Sheep too. She kicks it to the man. Rock’n’roll!!!

Plus, for the first two seasons the Pigs didn’t wear seatbelts when they drove around Peppatown. Grampa Pig even got a County Court summons for not paying a seatbelt fine. ‘FUCK THA POLICE’ yeah!!!. 

Then there was the episode where Peppa tried crack. Although that one was pulled, never aired and was never to be seen again. 

I am being silly of course. Peppa didn’t try crack or any illicit substances, that would be offensive, obscene and ridiculous. I was just trying to say something outrageous, for a laugh like, and you know what, I think it bloody-well worked. 

So like I said, I’m a huge fan and I was gunna go and see it on my own, but then I thought “hang on Mr. Tangerine, hang on, it might all look a little bit Jimmy Savile if I do, now then now then. If I’m sat there on my own in the front row, in my big red coat, eating an ice cream, laughing, whooping an’ a clapping”. Dodgy as fuck. So as such, just to be on the safe non-noncy side, I persuaded my good lady Mrs. Tangerine and my beautiful great niece (who for the purposes of this article and for valid security and confidentiality reasons, we shall call ‘X’) to make the journey to the Victoria Theatre in Halifax to witness the live Peppa extravaganza. 

So, after taking X, as established my wondrous 4 year old niece, and my exquisite wife to see the magnificent architecture of Halifax Town Hall, followed by an hour long visit and talk about the Halifax Gibbet, which was known locally as an early, prototype guillotine that allowed the Lord of the Manor to decapitate thieves and scruffs, we made our way to the theatre. 

As an aside, X didn’t like the Gibbet talk. Nor did me an’ the missus to be fair.

Tickets checked, Peppa balloons bought (£10.00 per balloon), a quick toilet cos I needed a wee-wee due to my over-enthusiasm, too much hot dog flavoured water (that is a genuine thing) and my extreme giddiness, we entered the auditorium. It was buzzing with excitements and we were soon enveloped by a cacophonous noise reverberating around this magnificent theatre. 

The pre-show DJ bringing the noise, spinning a heavy platter of stoner, Krautrock, Bronx Hip Hop, punk, electro-goth and 70s funk, highlights included Amon Düül, Can, early Sly Stone an’ Funhouse era Stooges and classic Einstürzende Neubauten.**

The lights go down, Peppa comes on. Whoops from the majority of the crowd. I say majority cos there were a few Peppa dissenters in protesting, suggesting that Peppa had sold out due to her recent multimillion pound deal with Balenciaga. Peppa gives them the finger and it’s on with the showbiz. 

A mass delirium engulfs the crowd as Grandpa Pig takes the Pigs to the zoo…YAAAAY!!!…now it’s just gone absolutely fucking mental. S-s-s-s-slithery snake makes an appearance, so does Mr. Penguin. I was disappointed not to see the red monkey though and I expressed my vexatiousness as loud as I possibly could. “WHERE’S THE F#UCKING MONKEY!?!!”. Within seconds security were down the front ready to drag me out but fortunately X sorted it, gave ‘em a sweetener and I was allowed to stay in and continue enjoying the fun and the frolics. 

Fortunately no one really noticed my monkey fracas down the front anyway cos by this point everyone in the Victoria were completely buzzing and off their absolute gourd, like Spike Island all over again. Although I’d never heard of Spike Island before, until I watched the film. And I only watched that because it was 50 pence in the hospice charity shop and I like ‘Elliott Tittensor’, him off Shameless, who played ‘Tits’. 

It was shit by the way. The film that is. 

So yeah, inside the Vic’ it was carnage. Toddlers screaming, laughing, crying, having tantrums, trying to grab Peppa, dancing in the isles, weeing themselves. Although that was only because I’ve got a bladder infection and I couldn’t make it to the toilet. One kid even jumped the stage. This was as mad as pre-army Elvis. 

All the big guns made an appearance. Peppa and George, Mummy and Daddy, Granny and Grandpa, basically all the Pigs, plus some others. It was wonderful, and the non-animatronic cheap cardboard/plastic characters held their own, and the sets were dope. It was like I was almost there, on the farm, in a zoo, in the ocean, playing with a golden Starfish, splashing with Mr. Dolphin and tripping with the fluorescent Jolly Jeffyfish. Is it Jellyfish or Jellyfi?

As the curtains came down, the kids were frenzied to the max’, would not be defeated and refused to leave until Peppa and the crew came back onstage to do an encore. Peppa stared at the crowd for almost a minute, in silence. Is this gunna kick off? She’s got form. The tension was almost palpable. Then she smiled and said , “You fucking guys…” as ‘The wheels on the bus’ kicked in, with delicious reverb flying hither and yon. A triumph.

Show over, we trawled through the discarded Paw Patrol Candy Cups and empty Fruit Shoots and walked out of the theatre and into the rainy, cold Halifax night. Somehow, in our euphoric haze we found the sanctuary of a local gin joint. And X? She loved every minute. Me? I had a headache cos of the sugar rush from all the Swizzels and Rainbow Drops I was mainlining and so, exhausted, I slept all the way home, leaving poor old Mrs. Tangerine to drive the three quarters of a mile to our palatial home. 

So goodbye Peppa, you were number onederful and you didn’t disappoint. And fuck the haters.

So until the next time, I am Pelican Tangerine, and I have left the building. 

*The Disney, Nazi links are well-known to be bollocks. Although Adolf’s favourite Disney film was ‘Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs’ apparently.

**I got that paragraph mixed up with an old LCD Soundsystem ‘Last Ever Show’ gig review I did. Soz. (How many last ever shows did LCD Soundsystem actually have? Answers on a postcard to the usual address)