The best in pre-school theatre
Are your pre-schoolers fans of In the Night Garden? If they are, I really urge you to take a look at the live show and see if there is one near you.
We love taking the children to the theatre and especially shows they love from TV, transformed on the stage, but I have to say that In the Night Garden Live is hands down the best children’s theatre we have ever seen.
In the Night Garden Live is an amazing musical theatre experience for all the family. Children’s favourite CBeebies’ stars – Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka and friends – are all brought beautifully to life on stage using full-size costumes, magical puppets, enchanting music and breathtaking projections.
In the Night Garden Live takes place in its own all-weather, purpose-built inflatable showdome with many family-friendly facilities. This site-specific structure and its immersive theatrical experience makes the audience feel they are actually entering the magical world of the TV show In the Night Garden.
The showdome is very impressive and adds to the experience. There is a buggy park, toilets and a baby change, refreshment stands and because of the way the dome is constructed, the seating is so much more practical for families than the traditional theatre flip seats. The tiered steps mean children are safe and parents can relax more. Although there is some premium seating at the front, there are no seat numbers so you just grab a bit of step space which works brilliantly.
The show itself is superb. There are two shows to choose from. We saw The Pinky Ponk show.
The characters look exactly like the real life versions of the TV characters and because the show follows the same format as the TV show, children can follow the story and know what to expect. It is literally transformed onto the stage.
The lighting and sound is superb and the trees and birds are projected onto the inside of the dome to add to the experience. Bubbles were released into the entire dome towards the end of the show which made it a complete sensory experience with the sounds and images as well.
At around 50 minutes, the show is the perfect length for pre-schoolers, this is where you feel as a parent that the creators really understand children.
This is quite simply pre-school theatre at its best. Outstanding doesn’t really cut it in terms of a worthy adjective.
The only negative is the cost. For what is essentially an hours entertainment you will pay around £17.50 for each ticket (babies under 6 months are only £1.00). That’s just for standard seats, if you want to sit on the first few rows the tickets are around £30 per person – although I don’t think you really need premium seats as the view is great from anywhere. A souvenir programme worth £7 is included in the ticket price. A goody bag is £29 if you book in advance and then if you want to meet one of the characters at the end of the show it is £15 per character, so if you wanted to meet Upsy Daisy and Igglepiggle that would be and extra £30 (you can have up to 3 children in each meet and greet for that price though). So for a family of four, for an hours entertainment you are looking at in the region of £165.00 – obviously if you are sucked into the merchandise as well then you’ll need to add more to that.
Having said this, these costs apply to pretty much any show you go to so I wouldn’t say this is any worse. The cost of meeting the characters seemed excessive though.
Despite this, this is a five star family show without a doubt and, having seen the show before improvements have been made 12 months on. Last year the sound was an issue over the noise of the dome, this year that was not a problem at all.
Quite simply breathtaking!