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In the Night Garden Live reviewed

Is this the most exciting thing that could happen to a two-year-old? Andrew Mullett takes his son to see the live version of the hit TV series

Published on July 22nd 2010.

In the Night Garden Live reviewed

In the Night Garden is a funny thing. You are either not aware of it at all, or it is the most important thing in your family’s life. Nothing else has the power to stun a raging two-year-old into serene silence, letting the cat escape from a vice-like death grip and giving mum time to send an email without a two-foot neanderthal biting the corner of the computer screen.

Upsy Daisy, the Tombliboos’, the Pinky Ponk and the Pontipines all follow. Young ushers who thought they were earning an easy day's pay are suddenly confronting a two-year-old stage invasion.

So what about a live show? Will it still have the power of the books and TV show to bewitch grumpy toddlers into a state of bliss?

We go along to a giant dome in Sefton Park, Liverpool to find out. The first thing we see on arriving is a fence surrounding the dome with In the Night Garden characters on it – this is enough to send our little one into raptures. James goes wild pointing out each character and running round the perimeter like a rocket. If this was all there was, then it would have been enough.

Once the very British queuing is done with we sit down in the warm auditorium. Cue the music, then the lights dim and 6ft Igglepiggle steps onto the stage. James has the look of a man that no longer has any concept of reality and fantasy. They have merged.

Once the initial awe wears off it’s down to dancing. First the full Makka Pakka routine learned by heart and executed perfectly in front of three adoring grannies, one of which cries at the cuteness.

Then all hell breaks loose. The Ninky Nonk piles onto the stage and the diminutive audience members are in a frenzy. James runs in circles. A three-year-old next to me bursts into tears at the sight of it, and a round of applause (from the adults) reverberates around the room.

Upsy Daisy, the Tombliboos’, the Pinky Ponk and the Pontipines all follow. Young ushers who thought they were earning an easy day's pay are suddenly confronting a two-year-old stage invasion. One of them desperately beckons to me to try to stop a young girl from mounting the stage. I can do nothing.

The show is fantastic. Digital projections, great scenery, and life-sized characters combined with human puppet animation. I find myself fighting back tears at the sight of a little lad having the time of his life; he's looking around at me to make sure it is really happening.

Anyone who knows what I’m talking about should ensure that they have tickets for this next time around. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a day.

In the Night Garden Live is showing at Sefton Park, Liverpool until 1 August. To book tickets or find out more visit www.nightgardenlive.com or call 0844 581 1251.

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Peter Coyle

i wish i had been there…it sounds like something joyous and anarchic...the way the article is…

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