We chatted to Benjamin about playing the iconic character Winnie the Pooh on stage.
Hi – how does it feel to be playing such a beloved character? Hi! I think Winnie the Pooh is a character that the mere mention of his name can often bring a smile to someone’s face. We all have our own little connections and memories that link to the brilliant characters created by A.A. Milne. And it’s a joy to be able to be a part of that! The way that he sees the world is one of the most wonderful things about Pooh: the simplicity and kindness he is never without. It’s a real treat to be given the chance to play him.
What can you tell us about Winnie the Pooh’s new adventures? We meet Pooh in Autumn on a day that Christopher Robin has gone to school – but if Christopher Robin isn’t there then who will bring Pooh some honey? Soon we meet all our favourite Hundred Acre Wood characters and follow their escapades as they meet new friends, bounce their way through the seasons, and continue Pooh’s all- important search for a small smackerel of honey!
What was it that made you want to be part of the musical? There is something special about the joy, kindness, and unadulterated happiness that makes up Winnie the Pooh’s way of life. What could be better than stepping into that way of life and telling this wonderful new adventure of his through song? The musical is filled with the brilliant music of the Sherman Brothers and being able to share those songs with an audience, young and old, in each performance is an opportunity I could not turn away from!
How would you describe the show? The show is a whirlwind of fun and excitement as you journey along with Pooh and the whole Hundred Acre Wood gang. A show filled with laughter, plenty of songs and, of course, that all important honey!
What are you looking forward to about bringing the musical to the stage? I think I’m most looking forward to being a part of the magic in bringing these wonderful puppets to life! The puppets created by the team at Rockefeller are gorgeous and so, so soft – but they spring to life on the stage! I was once the young child whose imagination soared when watching a puppet come to life and I’m very excited to be a part of that now!
How have you found working on the production so far? The cast and creative team are a joy to work with and given such wonderful characters to play and create live theatre with is a dream of a job. It’s been a wonderful time and I can’t wait to be a part of that here in Hammersmith and across the UK on tour!
By Emma Clarendon
To find out more about the UK tour visit: https://winniethepoohshow.co.uk/