In The Night Garden Live!
The Trafford Centre, Manchester
Reviewed by Emma Baker
On Sunday 19th August myself, my 2 year old, my 8 year old and their nannie had the wonderful experience that was In The Night Garden Live at the Trafford Centre, Manchester. We were given the 2pm showing which was ideal as it gave us enough time for lunch and to get there and find a parking space in the many car parks that the Trafford Centre has to offer. We arrived early so took the opportunity to have a look round the shops as it was raining we didn't want to wait outside with 2 kiddies.
On the tickets that we printed off it said that the doors opened half an hour before it started, so we knew we had to leave the shops at about 1.15 to give us enough time to find the 'show dome' and queue up to give us some good seats.
We kept an eagle eye on the time, and with an excited 2 year old asking if it was show time yet, at 1pm we made our way to the end car park where the show dome was set up, there were plenty of signs showing you the way to the huge inflatable dome where the show was being held, so we followed the signs in excitement about what was ahead.
When we arrived at the main doors we shown our tickets and the children were given a souvenir activity brochure each, which kept them quiet whist queuing. It contained stories, songs, dance moves, and photos of the up and coming show and on the back it showed some of the items that could be purchased and the price.
My little boy decided he needed the toilet while we were queuing and as he was only recently toilet trained I was dreading taking him to the porto-loo as they are normally small and not child friendly, but I was really pleasantly surprised and they were big and spacious, and each cubical had a little step so the little ones could reach the toilets and mini toilet seats that fit onto normal seats, it was a really nice touch that made all the difference, there were also steps by the sinks so the little one could reach and the hand dryers were turned off and replaced with paper towels, with a note saying that they had decided to turn them off because small children normally get scared off the loud noise, again a really thoughtful and nice touch that showed they had really thought about the little ones coming to the show. They also provided umbrellas so that the parents didn't get wet while waiting outside!
When we got back to the queue, we went to the kiosk for a drink, which weren't badly priced and my little one decided he liked the look of the flashing windmills that many of the children had, and at £6 I didn't think they were too expensive, so he was happy when we got him one. We carried on queuing up when we all got excited when they opened the barriers for us to go and find some seats, we followed the signs through to the main show area and found some seats with a good view, I expected it being cramped and warm but again was really surprised they were spacious benches and lots of air con, which made our visit a pleasant one. There came an announcement that the show would start within 10 minutes which filled the crowd with oohs and ahhs as they continued to fill in.
When it started we had the video of the opening song followed by a puppet of Iggle Piggle in his boat and the crowd of children went wild with cheers and it was great to see all the excitement on their faces at being able to see the characters that they had seen on TV 'real'.
The show was about Iggle Piggle losing his blanket, and was a mixture of both puppets and people dressed up, each character made a good amount of appearances so none where left out. It was just under an hour long which was the about right amount of time as there were some really young children, so they didn't lose interest.
The way the show was put together was well thought out, and had a good story to it and was easy to follow. Every one joined in with the songs and rhymes that they knew from the show.
At the end of the show there was a chance of a meet and greet with the characters for an extra charge but we gave this a miss as the queues were really long.
It was a lovely show and about right for the price they charged, my 8 year old thought she was a bit too old for it, but she enjoyed none the less, by my two year old was over the moon at seeing his favourite Makka Pakka.
A big thumbs up and a must see for any little person into the show.
To book your tickets to see the show visit www.nightgardenlive.com