On Saturday we were lucky enough to attend one of the best events I've ever been invited to: a VIP Gala Performance of In The Night Garden in the O2 in London.
I took The Boy to see the ITNG tour when it visited Cardiff last year and he adored it. It was his first experience of the theatre and he sat captivated for nearly an hour at the tender age of 22 months old. He wasn't the only one, and I was 33 at the time! This year the tour is visiting some of the larger venues that it didn't cover last time around, but the two stories of the Ninky Nonk or Pinky Ponk are still the same. If it ain't broke, why try and fix it?
The whole experience, for it is just that, is something that every child should have. In a purpose built inflatable theatre, you are welcomed into a small and cosy auditorium. On this occasion, that doesn't mean cramped, it actually means cosy and welcoming. Reminiscent of an ampitheatre, the rows of seats face down to the grassy stage where Upsy Daisy, Iggle Piggle and Makka Pakka re-enact the moment when Iggle's blanket kept getting lost. With the help of the Tombliboos, the Pontipines and some very clever puppetry, Iggle is reunited with his beloved blanket in a heart-warming performance.
I can't express how enjoyable the whole performance is. With images projected onto the screen, scaled and proportional versions of the main characters and brilliant acting, it is a must-see for all the family. And because of the clever layout of the auditorium, there is no worry of missing anything or not being able to see properly; we were sat in the fourth row back and there were another four or five rows behind us. But just look at how close we are to The Boy's beloved friends!
And of course, the best bit about the whole thing is getting to meet your hero or heroine from the show afterwards. Just look at his little face:
In The Night Garden Summer Tour is in the O2 until 9th June 2012, when it carries onto two other venues in London before travelling off to Manchester and Birmingham. Try and take your pre-schoolers, they will love every second of it!
I received free entry into the performance in order to write this post. The Boy received a goody bag. My opinion and enjoyment is honest and unbiased.