On Monday, we took Samuel to see In the Night Garden Live at the Trafford Centre in Manchester. I had, up until around a week before the show, been considering selling my tickets on as I really couldn't imagine my active, boisterous, yet at times very shy little boy sitting still for an hour. However I'm so glad we took him along as I could never have imagined how mesmerised he would be by the whole experience.
The show took place in a specially constructed inflatable Showdome, with buggy parking, microwaves and plenty of baby changing facilities - as soon as we arrived we knew that people were running the show who completely understood how it can be taking a child anywhere new; this was incredibly reassuring.
The ticket price included a free programme which took a little of the sting away from the ticket price - although Samuel was a little bit young to appreciate the content, it's something we can put away for him to enjoy in the future.
We sat down in the Showdome with 20 minutes to spare before the show started, we were a little worried about this as Samuel doesn't like sitting still but there was plenty of room for him to explore, and better still he was allowed to! Up and down the stairs, round and round the room, and lots of other friendly children to say "HIYA!" to. As soon as the opening music began however, he sat on our knees and watched intently, clapping and shouting away.
All the main characters from the TV show were present, along with some fantastic puppeteers. Perspective was played with brilliantly as Makka Pakka grew and shrunk depending on which characters he was interacting with. We attended the Pinky Ponk show where Makka Pakka washed the characters' faces; there is also a Ninky Nonk show which I believe involves Igglepiggle losing his blanket. The stories aren't going to win any Booker prizes but the children absolutely loved watching Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, the Tombliboos, the Pontipines and of course Makka Pakka getting up to all the usual tricks they see on television.
It's definitely worth a visit - we can't wait until next year!