In the Night Garden Live
George fell in love with In The Night Garden after watching it each time he visited his Grandma. She would record the shows to play them back for him when he visited. We later discovered it is available on BBCiplayer so he didn’t need to keep watching the same few shows. He loved each show the same anyway, but Makka Pakka made him do a jump, jog and laugh dance (George does that when excited).
For my birthday in July, I was given tickets from my children for In the Night Garden Live: The Pinky Ponk Show. I was so excited! Not because I love In the Night Garden, but because I couldn’t wait to see George’s reaction to the show. The event date wasn’t until Sunday 27th August so I had to wait over a month, but it gave us time to plan a trip to Manchester and Blackpool.
Arrival at the Showdome
We arrived an hour early to queue for our seats. Sounds from the garden were playing through the speaker. Other than seeing some pictures of the characters, I’m not sure if George knew what was awaiting him. With about 20 minutes to curtain up, we were allowed through to find a seat. We had premium seats and managed to get a seat at the front. This was great as George was allowed to run around at the front beforehand and burn off some steam. He also managed to lose a shoe so I needed the staff to radio round to help us find his little shell toe (it was located near the Iggle Piggle boat ride. He was desperate to get onto the stage and he kept pointing at the Pontipine house saying “open it”. After some investigation, he could see there was something magical about this place but still didn’t really know what was happening.
Let the Show Begin
The show began and when George finally saw the characters on stage he made a shy smile: He was In the Night Garden! We were so pleased that the show starred Makka Pakka with his trusty sponge and soap. Every part of the show was choreographed and executed beautifully. The characters and actors worked the entire stage to keep the whole auditorium entertained and give everyone a chance for a face on view (we were on one side which can be a problem in some live shows). The show used 3 different sized puppets/costumes to represent the contrast of character sizes as they interacted throughout.
The Tittifers were projected on the ceiling during set changes, keeping the children entertained for the full hour. George was mesmerised! I had my doubts that he would stay seated and watch the show but he found the whole experience magical and he loved sharing it with his parents and being in our arms. I’m so pleased we had a chance to go as it’s such a nice feeling to make your children be as happy as he was.
Olivia was another worry. She is only 5 months old and doesn’t know what a live show is all about. I sat her on my lap facing outwards and tried to lean back where possible. She enjoyed the lights and colours, watching like an angel until 10 minutes before the end when she began to get restless. She had a feed and fell asleep quite quickly.
Meeting Iggle Piggle
Afterwards, we met Igglepiggle. There were several booths with “Piggle” clones in and we managed to get second in line for one the of meetings. Again I had been sceptical of George’s reaction but he dropped to the floor sitting when he saw Piggle and grinned at him. We gathered around Iggle Piggle for our photo which gave George the confidence to give Piggle a cuddle and poke him saying “piddle”. Igglepiggle was friendly and the photographer really helped us to get a great family photo.
Memories to Cherish
This is a memory I am going to cherish. I’ll definitely be looking for more shows like this one to go to. I mentioned throughout this post that I had doubts about George’s behaviour or whether he would enjoy the different aspects, but it was well worth it. If you have similar doubts, I would urge you to try this show. The show and the staff are amazing. There’s nothing quite like seeing your child so happy.