Amy catches up with Josh Blackburn, the producer of Blippi the Musical. Blippi is a Youtube sensation, with over 15 million subscribers. Blippi is an educational Youtube channel for children 5 and under. The show has been adapted for the stage and is about to have its European premiere on the West End.
Hi Josh, how are you feeling ahead of the show opening in the West End?
Hello Amy, it’s great to be speaking with you! I’m incredibly excited – the West End is an iconic location known for incredible theatre productions, and we’re honoured to have Blippi The Musical welcomed into the Apollo Theatre. After touring North America since 2020, we can’t wait for UK audiences to see this show live for the very first time!
Blippi is a YouTube sensation, what do you think makes it so popular?
Blippi sees the world through a child’s eyes and encourages them to explore and engage in ways in which they can relate. He’s silly, adventurous, and playful, and is someone children can both look up to and experience the ultimate playdate with. Now that Blippi has grown as a character, we’re so thrilled to be able to bring him off the screen to delight children live on stage!
The show is popular globally, why do you think it appeals to children from all over the world?
Blippi encourages children’s natural curiosity and inspires them to learn alongside him through playing and exploring. This curiosity, as well as his interest in vehicles, professions, animals, the natural world and so much more, are all universal subjects that children all over the world can relate to.
The show is targeted to children aged 2-7 – why do you think it is important to expose children to theatre from a young age?
Exposing children to theatre from a young age inspires a love for live productions as they grow. Participation in theatre gives children self-confidence and ways to express themselves that they might not otherwise have, including creatively and emotionally. We at Round Room Live are honoured to introduce many children to the magic of their first show, thereby cultivating future audiences to keep theatre alive and thriving.
What was the first show you saw as a child, and how did it impact you?
One of my earliest memories was going to see Sesame Street Live at our local theatre and my father got pulled up on stage with The Count. Along with great learning and fun it was the beginning of learning how much fun live experiences are with your whole family. Really amazing time with my family that I will never forget.
What were the challenges of taking the show from screen to stage?
Blippi is an internet and TV global sensation, with certain expectations that come along with being so well-known. We needed to make sure that the Blippi the fans of the character would see onstage was true to the character they saw on the screen, while also introducing new audiences, who may not be as familiar, to the character of Blippi. In addition, we needed to ensure that audience expectations would be met, while also exceeding those expectations- we always want to surprise and delight our audiences!
What can people expect from Blippi The Musical?
A: People can expect the energy and excitement that they know and love of Blippi, along with amazing music, audience interaction, and Round Room Live’s world-class production values! Children and families should be ready to sing and dance along with Blippi and the Blippi buddies to both old and new favourite songs (including “The Excavator Song”!) and have an amazing experience that we know they’ll remember forever.
With so much children’s theatre on this summer – why should people take their children to see Blippi The Musical?
Blippi The Musical is premiering for the very first time this summer in London’s West End! The show is running for 3 weeks only, so this is your only chance to see the playful, relatable antics of this beloved character onstage. Tickets are going quickly!
And finally, can you describe the show for us in 3 words?
Exciting, engaging and fun!
ABOUT THE SHOW
Blippi The Musical is at the Apolllo Theatre in London’s West End from the 16th AUGUST – 4rd SEPTEMBER