run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Saturday 1 June 2019

In The Night Garden Live: a review

I have to confess I didn't have sky-high expectations before I sat in the velvet seats of the Hackney Empire to watch In The Night Garden Live. A kids' TV show (albeit one of the most popular on TV, and definitely one of tiniest man's favourites) would be jazzed up a little bit for the theatre, I reckoned, with those dum dum, dum dum dum dum duuuuum dum starting notes on repeat throughout. Nothing too exciting. My eldest's first theatre trip was to see The Tiger Who Came To Tea; I didn't have such high hopes for the plot of ITNG. 

But then the curtain lifted. The familiar tune played (and yes, it's been an ear-worm in my head ever since). And tiny man gasped. He really did. Then he waved wildly and squealed "IT'S IGGLE PIGGLE!!" (Noise doesn't matter, most of the rest of the tot audience were gasping too). 

Then there were beautiful, full-size puppets (with costumes made by the star behind the London 2012 opening and closing ceremony - seriously!) and excellent puppeteers, Avenue Q-style; there were dancing characters, plus there was a plot that had my four-year-old captivated, whilst my two-year-old just kept beaming. 

And I'm not going to give away the perfect-for-toddlers plot (you can still catch the show at a bunch of venues, find out if it's coming near you here) but when the Pinky Ponk (words my spellchecker hates, and toddler loves) rose from the stage and started floating into the sky towards the dress circle - the kids really did all 'oooh ahh'. Parents, too. It was such a joy to see our little ones so excited (my husband, meanwhile, was forensically working out how they did it; internal drone, apparently). This was one of the best theatre experiences I've ever taken my kids to, purely because they enjoyed it so much. Maybe it'll help to instil a lifelong love of the arts.. Or perhaps just a big dose of extra love for Iggle Piggle. 

(Shout-out too, to the theatre staff who made the influx of hundreds of excited kids and their buggies and their booster seat requests and toilet trips etc very easy and relaxing - the Hackney Empire staff really did want to help.) 

* We were sent tickets as a thank you for writing about Upsy Daisy's designer, Tahra Zafar but weren't under any obligation to review ITNG - we just loved it and wanted to share the word.

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