The Lowry Theatre Salford today staged In the Night Garden Live, presented by the Minor Entertainment Group. Now in its 10th year, In The Night Garden Live is still one of the UK’s favourite family events, and today’s performance cemented why. With all the ingredients of a perfect family show In The Night Garden Live burst into life from the minute you entered the auditorium and was enchanting from beginning to end.
Most parents of little ones who have watched many episodes of the original CBeebies TV series created by Andrew Davenport and developed by Ragdoll Productions, will have little ones just like my six year old co-reviewer who have adored the charming characters such as Iggle piggle, Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka, Tombliboos and the Pontipines from the moment they first saw them. Today the Lowry auditorium was bursting with many of these little fans all squealing in anticipation to see their much-loved characters live on stage.
As with each TV episode of in the night garden the Live show started with a projected clip of a child in bed snuggling down to sleep, whilst the narrator introduced the show in its familiar way, followed by the accustomed scene of Iggle Piggle, in his boat, travelling to the Night Garden. Soon Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka and friends are seen to have a very Busy Day following the strange and funny drumming sounds, until they finally find the source and celebrate with a dance under the gazebo.
Complete with projections of Haahoos and Tittifers the Live show left no character out, and with a beautifully designed Ninky nonk and projected Pinky Ponk the show was complete and true to the theme and content of the original TV series. Although each TV episode runs for 30 minutes and this is probably just the right viewing time for the attention span of its very young followers. Yet the Live shows running time is just under an hour, and has no interval, and this proved a little too long for some of the fidgety younger audience members today.
Today the production team, creative team and the cast of very talented puppeteers beautifully brought to life all the beloved characters of in the night garden, with full-size costumes, magical puppets, and enchanting music. The staging and costumes were phenomenal and the show in its entirety was a magical piece of children’s theatre. This is definitely a production to be enjoyed by young and old, and to sum things up with the words of my six year old co-reviewer: “Mummy that was definitely a 5 thumbs up show. I thought I would be too old for In the Night Garden now I’m 6, but I’m not mummy it was just wonderful”…. Yes Felicity I’m 5 decades old and I’m also not too old to have loved this show either!!!
This year the Live show is touring theatres all over the country. After Salford the tour continues to Dunstable from 2nd to the 3rd April and then travels on to Watford from 6th to the 7th April. For further information on the 2019 tour go to www.nightgardenlive.com and I am sure you won’t be disappointed if you see this magical production.
Reviewer: Victoria Wilmot
Reviewed: 3rd March 2019
North West End Rating: ★★★★★