Tim Hughes is in hog heaven as joins the stars of Peppa Pig ahead of their show at Oxford's New Theatre

SHE is a global star – one of the most popular, if unlikely, children's TV characters of all time. There's no denying the popularity of Peppa Pig.

The adventures of the popular porker, her mummy and daddy and little brother George, have enchanted children since they made their first appearance on our screens 14 years ago.

Now fans of the porcine personalities can see them up close in a new live show Peppa Pig’s Adventure which trots into the New Theatre Oxford on Wednesday and Thursday.

"It is a brilliant show," says Bronte Tadman – who plays Daisy.

"You can expect lots of variety from the show. We want everyone to come prepared with their best singing voices and be ready to have lots of fun."

Bronte, who trained at the Oxford School Of Drama, is the only human in the cast.

"It was one of the things that that I thought would be tough when I took the role," she says. "I thought it would be really hard to interact with the characters and not look at the puppeteer behind them, but they are so skilled and just disappear behind the puppet and bring them to life.

"It’s like I am just talking to Peppa and George, and they are my mates. So any apprehension I had about it went away as soon as we started."

The interactive show follows the warm-hearted hog as she gets ready to go on an exciting camping trip to the woods with George and her school friends Pedro Pony, Suzy Sheep and Gerald Giraffe.

Daddy Pig is driving the bus to the country, where much fun, singing and splashing in puddles ensues – to their predictable delight.

"Seeing anything live on stage is always so wonderful," says Bronte. "I remember going to Disneyland when I was a child and being excited to see Mickey Mouse. You feel really privileged to meet your heroes.

"With this show, children really feel like they are on the adventure with Peppa and they are her mates. We’re all in the room, feeling the same energy and everyone is getting involved."

Her enthusiasm is certainly infectious – and her love for the production has ensured the show receives a rapturous response.

She laughs: "It has had a lovely warm reaction so far, from not just the kiddies, but the mums and dads too.

"There is some very special puppeteering in this show. So, not only do we meet the characters you would expect to see but some others come and visit us too – and they always get a fantastic reaction from the children."

She goes on: "There is a lot of audience participation, so everyone joins in with me and we have some lovely sing-a-longs.

"By the end of the show everyone is up on their feet dancing. It think it’s the closest I’ll ever get to being a rock star!"

Bronte admits her grounding at the Oxford School Of Drama has given her a great grounding – even for acting alongside Peppa and her sweet sibling swine. What made her choose the Woodstock-based acting school?

"I did the usual thing of deciding I wanted to go to drama school, then looking up the best schools, of which Oxford is one, and then I was very, very lucky that they let me in.

"I’m from just south of London originally and thought Oxford would be an opportunity to live somewhere different. And it was wonderful being there. It’s so beautiful and there is just a feeling of wanting to learn when you are there.

"There is so much history and there are so many clever people walking around. It is a continuously inspiring place. Plus, the school is in the countryside, so there is nothing like it. Anyone who attends is really lucky."

And she can't wait to return.

"I can't wait to visit Greens coffee shop again, and I want to go for a little mooch over Magdalen Bridge, as that’s something that I used to do at weekends.

"It’s also fantastic to be performing at the New Theatre. We did a voice class on stage there during my third year at drama school. I was sat at the back of the auditorium with one of my friends and we both said we really wanted to perform on that stage one day – and now I get to do just that! And it didn’t take as long as I thought it might."

The show is directed by Richard Lewis, who explains why the show is such a hit with young fans.

"The children and parents who come along to see Peppa live on stage will have been following her adventures through the animated television series," he says. "They love to see all the characters and what they get up to. Here they have an added thrill because, there, in front of all their eyes, are their heroes in 3D talking directly to them and inviting them to come on their adventures. When Peppa herself walks on stage the children go absolutely wild with excitement!"

Is there some magic to presenting Peppa Pig live on stage?

"The magic is already there," he says. "The characters are the magic.

"However, you do have to take into consideration the concentration span of younger children. I make sure that something new happens on stage at least every nine to 12 seconds – this can be a new character coming on stage, or a new song, or some sort of audience participation.

"Parents love the characters too and we find that they become just as involved as their children, which makes the whole family experience one that is truly magical.

"I am lucky in that I was a drama teacher in a past life and that has given me great insight into what appeals to children on the stage."

And, he says, there's plenty to look forward to in the gregarious grunter's latest adventure.

"As well as a new story for audiences to enjoy, all the songs are original and written specifically for our pre-school audience," he says. "We are especially excited to have Gerald the Giraffe join us along with Madame Gazelle for the very first time and many more of Peppa’s friends.

"I am extremely lucky and privileged to have the task of adapting Peppa’s stories for the stage, while two very creative musicians supply all the new musical material – Mani and Matt. They have written seven new songs for this latest adventure.

"It’s colourful, exciting, joyful and fun for all. But more importantly, Peppa can’t wait to meet everyone."

It promises to be a fun show and, Bronte agrees, is not just for the kids.

"I want everyone to bring their best singing voices and get ready to go on a wonderful adventure – grown-ups too," she laughs.

"Everyone will have a brilliant time. By the time the Bing Bong song comes on everyone will be joining in – nobody is safe, it’s very contagious!"

* Peppa Pig’s Adventure is at the New Theatre Oxford at 1pm and 4pm on Wednesday and 10am and 1pm on Thursday. Suitable for ages 3+.