‘The Wimpy Kid Show': Review

WimpyKidShow_LogoI was intrigued by the whole notion of ‘The Wimpy Kid Show’ before I even set foot in Ilkley Playhouse. How do you create an ‘author event’ with no author to promote the book? (Very successfully, judging by the fact that the team behind the show were nominated for Publicity Campaign of the Year at the Bookseller Industry Awards earlier this year – the book industry’s equivalent of the Oscars, no less.)

As The Diary of a Wimpy Kid author, Jeff Kinney lives in the US and juggles his time writing, helping to create the hugely-successful Wimpy Kid films and taking part in promotional events, he couldn’t commit to the UK literary festival circuit. Hence ‘The Wimpy Kid Show’ was born. Hosted by Alistair Watson, the show was a sell-out, packed with pre-teen Wimpy Kid aficionados. Watson was enthusiastic and whipped the young crowd into a frenzy, with constant audience participation. There was something slightly surreal about seeing rows of parents raising their hands in the air shouting “Zoo-wee-mamma!”

Audience participation was interspersed with clips of Jeff Kinney describing how the books made it to the big screen and a masterclass in drawing your own Wimpy Kid. It was surprising how tricky the seemingly simple drawings were to imitate. The young audience loved the energy of the show, culminating in The Wimp Wars! quiz onstage, with eager volunteers vying to prove themselves as the ultimate Wimpy Kid fan.

We left the show with cries of “Zoo-Wee-Mamma!” ringing in our ears and whilst I take my hats off to both the team behind the show and Alistair Watson for creating such an enjoyable event, I did miss the thrill which meeting a ‘real-life’ author can bring to an event.

This event was reviewed at Ilkley Literature Festival. For all the behind-the-scenes info about Ilkley Literature Festival, visit The Pickled Egg, the festival’s official blogger.

For more info about Jeff Kinney and the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid news, visit Puffin Books.

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