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Aimed at pre-schoolers, the award-winning show was devised by the team behind The Teletubbies.
Like that phenomenally successful global brand, In The Night Garden speaks to pre-school children in a way adults find nigh on impossible to comprehend. Nevertheless, however baffled you may be, if you’re a parent of a tiny tot you’re probably familiar with the show’s incredible ability to mesmerise your little one.
Now fans have the chance to meet their heroes, up close and huggable. In The Night Garden is coming to London this summer and it’s bringing its own inflatable venue. Big, white and fluffy, the weatherproof showdome looks like something out of the surreal series. The live event will play at two venues in the capital. The first run will stretch from July 30 to August 13 in Richmond’s Old Deer Park. Then on September 10 it will reopen for a fortnight in Brent Cross.
We caught a sneak preview at Woburn Abbey. My son was a huge fan, but I wondered whether he would still be interested having recently turned three. I needn’t have worried. He had a huge smile across his face from the moment we sat down. While we waited, he delighted in the moving images projected on the ceiling of the dome.
Then as the lights dimmed, the magic began. Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy and Makka Pakka were brought to life by puppeteers and actors in costume. While most of the audience (including my son) sat captivated, the excitement proved too much for some who burst into tears. But that didn’t ruin it for those other wide-eyed little ones who truly believed that they had been transported to the Night Garden.
Tickets cost between £14.50 and £25, depending on the date. The running time is 50 minutes, which may leave you feeling a little short-changed. Nevertheless, it’s long enough for children that young to sit still and concentrate.
If your kids come out demanding more, more, more, there is the opportunity to meet the characters. But be warned: the show’s organisers are charging £15 extra for the privilege.
In The Night Garden: Old Deer Park, Richmond, 30 Jul-13 Aug 2011 and Brent Cross, 10-24 Sep 2011. Visit www.nightgardenlive.com for tickets and information