Lib Campbell had an unusual skill to master to play Peppa Pig in the new “Peppa Pig Live! Peppa’s Big Splash” stage show coming to NYCB Theatre at Westbury this month: snorting.
“It takes a bit of practice,” says Campbell, 24, who hails from Sydney, Australia. “I’ve had to work on making the full, rich piglet snorts. I’ve become proficient at them.”
She also now shines at singing and talking like a pig with an English accent. “They giggle, they play in the mud, they snort,” Campbell says of Peppa and the other pigs in her immediate animal family, which include Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig and little brother George. To nail Peppa’s ways, Campbell watched at least 30 to 40 episodes of the animated British TV show “Peppa Pig,” which is the most popular show on Nick Jr. for kids ages 2 to 5.
Given the TV show’s popularity, it’s not surprising that the first-ever live Peppa musical is sold out on Long Island. Though most of the TV episodes are about five minutes long each, the stage show includes two acts of about 30 minutes each and a 15-minute intermission. “The basic storyline is that there’s a leak in the school roof. It is dripping,” Campbell says. Peppa and her friends organize a school fair to raise the money to fix it. “It’s very colorful. There’s lots of singing and dancing.”
Kids come to the show in Peppa shirts and hats and rain boots. “They’re all about the muddy puddles,” Campbell says of Peppa and her brother, and of Peppa’s fans, of course. “The energy in all the theaters has been fantastic,” she says.
Campbell jokes that this is her first “barnyard” role. She is the puppeteer/actress who operates Peppa as well as being her voice. The colorful puppets are about half the size of the actors, who are dressed in black and are seen standing or crouched behind the puppets they control. “The audience is also aware that the actors are there,” she says. “We are at one with the puppets.”
Campbell’s favorite part of the show is the finale. “It’s a medley of all the songs we’re doing. It’s a big musical romp at the end; kids are on their feet with parents and grandparents. They get a bit groovy with the dance.”