22 August 2014
Reviewed by Emma Lydon
I went to see the Milkshake Live tour at the York Grand Opera House with my husband and two young daughters, aged 5 and 2. The theatre itself is located in York city centre, just a short 10 minute walk from the train station which was handy as, being right in the city centre, there is limited street parking nearby although there is a multi-storey car park not too far away.
The theatre is fabulously traditional without being out-of-date, antiquated rather than old fashioned, and this added to the whole experience. The staff on the front desk were welcoming and polite, as were the staff readily on hand to point us in the direction of the bar area where we could wait before the show started. There is plenty of room to wait, with a small shop selling refreshments which I found to be a little on the expensive side but in-line with other theatres I have visited. The whole place is clean and well-kept, with ample toilet facilities so that I never had to queue with the little ones.
We took our seats in the stalls about ten minutes prior to showtime and as the theatre is relatively small, you would have a good view of the stage regardless of where your seats were located. There was lots of excitement once the show started, with two Milkshake presenters bouncing on to the stage with an uplifting amount of energy that never wavered from start to finish. The premise of the show is that it is Milkshake Monkey’s birthday and the presenters want to throw him a surprise birthday party, with the help of some of his friends. With the right balance between developing the story (which, with it being a show primarily for pre-school-age children, is not particularly elaborate!), meeting the characters and infectious songs, the children never had a chance to get bored. The stage was brightly decorated, the costumes colourful and the music had the girls up dancing in the aisles. There were lots of appearances from some of the show’s favourite characters: we had the Little Princess, Bananas in Pajamas, Noddy and more. There was a 20 minute break after about 45 minutes, which although seemed early, with the young age of the audience it came at just the right time for yet another toilet break.
Back in for the second half which didn’t last quite as long as the first half, but the energy levels seemed to go up and before long the presenters had most of the adults up dancing along with the children. I had reservations beforehand that my eldest daughter may be a little old but she seemed to enjoy it just as much as the little one. I would say that the ideal age range for the show would be between 2 and 5. I can’t think of a single thing to fault, the whole audience seemed to have a great time and my girls came skipping out of the theatre with huge smiles on their faces. I would wholeheartedly recommend this show to anyone with young children, and I would certainly recommend a visit to this original and elegant theatre.
To sum up: great location, fabulous show, would definitely visit again.
For information on shows at the Grand Opera House, York visit www.atgtickets.com/york.
Milkshake Live is currently on tour, for more details and tour dates click here.
Grand Opera House York, Clifford and Cumberland Street, York, YO1 9SW | 0844 8713024