Over the weekend, I took N (nearly 18 months) to go and see In The Night Garden Live at the Old Deer Park in Richmond. The show is still touring the UK, heading to Birmingham and Manchester next so if you fancy booking for your little one – it’s not too late!
The show takes place in a special purpose built and family friendly show dome which we were really impressed with. As soon as you go into the Show Dome, everyone is very helpful and welcoming, and there’s a large buggy park to leave your buggy before heading up to the seating area. We were also given a little In The Night Garden souvenir book for free, included with the ticket.
Seating within the dome is quite casual and flexible – which I really liked. With such a young target audience, the relaxed feel of the show dome was really appreciated. Instead of separate seats, the audience sits on rows of steps in front of the stage. If you’ve booked premium seating, then you will be within the first five rows, otherwise you can sit anywhere you like. I decided to go towards the back where it was less busy, so that we could feel the most relaxed. As the seating is in steps, you’ll get a good view from wherever you sit!
The show is around 45 minutes long – an ideal length for young toddlers who can become restless after too long. It’s all in one section with no interval and I found that N was able to keep her attention on the show for the whole performance, although she did get up and down from her seat a bit – but as it’s a family friendly show that’s not an issue and there were a few others doing the same.
There are two versions of the show – the Ninky Nonk version or the Pinky Ponk version. We saw the Ninky Nonk version, which told the story of Iggle Piggle losing his blanket and of course features a ride on the Ninky Nonk!
The show is very true to the feel of the TV show, with the familiar music and imagery, and all of the main characters featured for their own little sections to perform their songs and dances.
The characters are life sized in the show, but they also appear in small size in some parts of the performance to show them in the distance which is quite cleverly done and keeps things interesting. We also really liked the use of projections on the ceiling of the dome above the stage. These included imagery like trees, the birds which come in the night garden, or the Pinky Ponk floating by, and they really got N’s attention.
I really liked the way the show was introduced and then ended with the familiar structure of the In The Night Garden show – starting with the bit about Round and round, a little boat no bigger than you’re hand, out on the ocean, far away from land... and then ending with all of the characters going to bed.
You also have the option to book a meet and greet with the characters after the show. We didn’t do this, and the show on it’s own was enjoyable enough for N, but one of my friend’s booked to meet the characters and her little boy loved it! It is an extra cost for the character meet and greet, which you can book in advance or on the day.
I would definitely recommend the show for toddlers of around N’s age. It’s so colourful and engaging, and a magical experience for little ones, as they see the characters brought to live in front of them. I would take her again in future to see the other version of the show.
Visit InTheNightGardenLive.com to find out more and book tickets.
We were provided tickets in order to review