* Prices may differ from that shown
In the Night Garden (shortened to ITNG) is a show on CBeebies (freeview 71). It is aimed at young children.
INTG takes children to a magical garden where they can see different characters interacting with each other. Each 30minute episode concentrates on a story and although there is usually a main character, all the other characters appear throughout the show and also at the end for a dance and singalong.
As this show is aimed at younger children, the words used by the characters are simple with their own name being the most common used. The show is narrated by a male who tells the story and sings the songs. Each character has their own song and dance which encourages the children to play along.
Before I go on to talk about the Live Show itself, I feel I need to tell you all about the characters so sit down and let your inner child shine through!
Iggle Piggle is a blue teddy character who is constantly on the go. He is without a doubt, the main character in the show. He carries his red blanket around which most children could relate too and has a fondness for Upsy Daisy. Iggle Piggle doesn't speak at all and communicates by squeeking and gesturinng.
Upsy is a larger than life character who is brightly dressed and always up for a song and dance. She is the proud owner of a bed on wheels which often chases her around the garden. Upsy loves the sound of her own voice and can often be heard roaring into her megaphone..much to the annoyance of the other characters.
Makka Pakka is a tiny brown creature with odd bits sticking out in random parts of his body. He lives a sheltered life in a cave and has an obsession with stones. His day is spent trawling around the garden on his Og-Pog (scooter) and cleaning the residents faces with his Uff Uff sponge.
There are 3 colourful Tombliboos who live in a big bush. They love to sing and dance as well as playing instruments. They can often be seen without their trousers on but nothing is exposed! They love to clean their teeth which promotes this to younger children.
These little characters live in a semi detached at the bottom of a tree. There are 2 adults and 8 children so clearly they didn't have a tv! They do little dances and generally squeek around the garden. They are all red.
This 10 person family lives next door to the Ponitpines. They are all blue and are rarely seen..must be lovely to have permanent holidays!
Huge, inflatable things which sometimes bounce around the garden before collapsing in a big heap and deflating.
The Ninky Nonk is a train type thing with different carriages for different sized characters. It is bright and colourful and runs around the garden at some speed..suprised the police haven't done with invisible driver with speeding!
This is an airship which floats around the sky making weird farting noises. It takes the characters on a journey with some cracking sites of the garden below. Not very safety concisious though as it is forever crashing into trees.
There is also a few sets of birds which sing and tweet during scene changes.
In the Night Garden decided to put on shows for children around the UK. The London and Liverpools shows are finished. Upcoming shows are in Birmingham.
This review concentrates on the Glasgow show which started on the 11th of September and ran until the 26th of September.
The live show comes in the form of a theatre experience. It comes togetherwith real life characters, puppets, music and projections.
Each show centres around an episode of INTG and you can choose between the Ninky Nonk or Pinky Ponk show.
Glasgow Green is just a short walk from the city centre and is home to a purpose built show dome where each performance is shown. The show dome itself is to the far end of this huge park and a short walk from Peoples Palace Museum.
Coming by road - head westbound on the M74 and take the 2nd exit onto A74. Continued onto the A749 and turn left onto Arcadia Street. The Green is visible from here and you can park 5mins from the park at Flesher's Haugh for £1.00. G40 1HB for satnav.
Coming by rail - Glasgow Green is approx 25min walking from Glasgow Central or Queen Street Stations.
Bus - contact www.travelinescotland.com as many services run here.
As you approach the dome, you cannot appreciate how large it really is til you go inside. The dome has been purpose built for the show and is like a lying down Michelen Man! It was fenced in to avoid anyone getting in through any means other than the main entrance.
As you go in, to the left a desk selling tickets and various merchandise is on the left alongside the food and drink counter. To the right, a huge area for buggies was available. You go through one of two tunnels and up a few stairs. The layout inside is elevated with stairs for sitting on..no actual seats. There is a few rows at the bottom which are for those who paid extra to be nearer the action. There is also an area for wheelchairs.
At the front a reasonable sized stage can be seen from every seat and this is where the performance takes place. Up above the seats, various projection machines aim images onto the inside of the dome making it very exciting for the kids!
More on this later but each show is different. We went to a Pinky Ponk show and it was about Makka Pakka washing faces.
The stage was well done with real people dressed in green, moving the props into place for various scenes. The show starts off with Iggle Piggle in his boat which is performed by a large puppet teddy. As this scene changes, the children are quickly distracted by the opening scenes of the show which project onto the walls.
The perfomance goes through what would happen in this show had it been on television. We are introduced to the characters with Makka Pakka taking centre stage. Whilst Makka Pakka is on stage on his own, he is played by a fullsize person in a suit. He is changed to a large teddy moved along by the actors when on stage with the larger characters to show the height difference.
Each character comes on a performs their song and dance twice encouraging the children to join in and also the parents. Makka Pakka cleans every characters face with his Uff Uff which produced bubbles as he cleaned - magical for the children. Between scenes, the props would get moved about as the stage darkened slightly and the birds would appear on the walls to mark the end of that scene.
The show incorporated all the characters with the exception of the Haahoos and Wottingers. Iggle Piggle was his usual adorable self with a huge blanket which I was certain he would trip over. Upsy Daisy was bright and beautiful and blew several kisses to the audience which many loved. The Tombliboos were large puppets moved around by the green people which worked well and the children were none the wiser. The Pontipines were small ornamental things moved about by the green people.
The Ninky Nonk made a short appearance and drove around the stage a few times honking as it went. This was like a controlled car. The Pinky Ponk came in the form of a projection crossing the dome which aimed the children to go crazy as it ponked!
The show ended with all the characters (real size and puppet size) performing the story time dance. It was very real to life and colourful and children were encouraged to perform along. To add some extra magic to the whole experience, bubbles were blown from various, hidden machines above sending the children crazy!
After the show, order was needed to ensure everyone walked out safely and we were to get our buggies and head out.
There are 5 shows each day and the shows are daily except Tuesdays.
The showings are at 0915, 1115, 1400, 1545 and 1730 with each show last around an hour.
Everyone pays the same price including adults and children. Prices are determined by peak and off peak times.
The prices range from £10 - £20. The cheaper tickes are for the earliest and final showing of the day during the week with increases at the weekend.
Tickets can be booked through www.nightgardenlive.co.uk. You can have them emailed to you and print them out at no extra cost. Keep your tickets safe as they cannot be replaced. If you need them to be sent to you, a charge of £5 will apply.
The creators of the dome have obviously created the dome with children in mind. As well as a large buggy area, there are toilets and baby changing facilities. Food and drink is available and heating facilities for baby food are available.
Video recording and flash photography is not permitted but you can take pictures providing your flash isn't on as this can distract the actors.
Security staff surround the dome..I could understand this for the Pope but I don't think anyone wishes to assasinate Iggle Piggle though I may be wrong. A few staff members floated around the entrance scanning tickets. Inside the dome, ushers wandered around selling light up toys before the performance and during, they ensured everyone was ok.
A stall with various dvds,bags and books were available at high prices. Food such as sweets and crisps aswell as bottles of cold juice could also be purchased. At the end of the perfomance, character balloons could also be bought.
My son has a significant obsession with In the Night Garden. Before bed each night, he parks his bum on the sofa with his cup of milk and custard cream and tunes into channel 71 for 30mins of gibbering blethering! He interacts with the characters by joining in with the dancing and has the songs memorised much to my annoyance of my poor ears! My Mum had mentioned a few weeks ago that a live show was being performed in at Glasgow Green and despite being exceptionally short of cash, I believed this would be a once in a lifetime treat for my son.
I popped onto the website which I found easy to navigate. We chose tickets for Thursday 16th of September as it was hubbys day off. To allow us plenty of time to get there, we opted for the 1115 showing. I decided to book for my nephew as his 2nd birthday was the week before and he is Iggle daft too! So 4 tickets at £12.50 each were bought and paid for. I received my tickets attached to an email within 1hour and hubbys auntie printed them out. Although I feel £12.50 wasn't bad for the 2boys, I felt it unfair to charge so much for adults..I wouldn't have minded perhaps £5.00.
With our tickets safely tucked into my bag, we headed by train to Glasgow yesterday morning.There was me, hubby, my sister, my older nephew, my niece, my son and my younger nephew. We jumped off at Glasgow Central and found the best way to get to Glasgow Green was by heading down to the front and walking along the Clyde. After around 20mins, we reached the entrance to the park. We walked and walked til we realised the dome was wayyyy up the opposite end of the park..well sign posted though!
The dome was huge from outside and as we said our goodbyes to my sister and the older kids, my niece started crying to go in..she is 4 and although doesn't watch ITNG anymore, decided she wanted to see Upsy Daisy. My sister gave in so armed with 3children, 4 if you include hubby..we walked in and parked the 2 prams. It was well layed out inside and plenty of staff to help. As the kids had finished their drinks, I popped over and ordered 3 small Fruit Shoots and a Coca Cola and stood waiting with a £5 note..£6.50!! You have to be kidding me..total rip off and they know parents will buy them!
The doors opened 15mins before and it was still busy when we arrived at 1105. We paid for standard seating and decided to sit up the back. The stairs at the side were well designed and the seating area was bench like with plenty of room to fidget about. The dome wasn't full to capacity but there was a huge range of children with their parents eager to see their favourite characters.
The walls were adorned with bright images of the characters. Regular announcements over the tanoy announced a countdown to the start of the show. The show started 5mins late and by that point, children were getting annoyed. There was a few outcomes possible..the lights dimmed and several children started screaming..others sat quiet and some went totally nuts at the bright images projecting on to the dome. My son took the second option and just watched..as did my niece who generally stares into space. My normal, totally daft nephew lit up and danced around on the bench screaming at the Pinky Ponk flying across.
The show really began with Iggle Piggle in his boat and the children all revved up from there onwards. Each child has their favourites and when that character came out, they would go nuts! My son was mesmired by Makka Pakka and sang along doing the dancing actions with everyone else. Despite nearly having lost my voice, I joined in as did most parents. The characters were extremelly real to life in terms of the show. The settings though basic, worked well and the projections gave a strong sense of being there in the garden..I found it magical so I can only assume the children found it spectacular.
Each scene was acted out well with reasonable distractions inbetween prop changes. Despite several scenes being played out with puppets and teddy props, this worked well as I was unsure how they would potray the height difference between the characters. The green people were enthusiastic and although not invisivble, blended well into the set. The story played out well and it was an episode which both my son and nephew were familiar with as they knew what was going to happen next. My niece spent most of show asking when Upsy Daisy would be on..her voice could be heard throughout but she came on near the end much to the happiness of all the girls in the audience!
We were high up and had a decent view of the stage. The seats were ok..not too hard and plenty of room. I decided to use my phone camera to take pictures and zoomed in. I got some impressive photos though at times, the light was too strong making my photos too bright. I seen a few people being told for having their flash on. I have uploaded the photos to my laptop and plan on making a printed alum for the boys.
The show was meant to last around an hour, well it started 5mins late and finished 10mins early so 45mins wasn't very good in terms of the cost. My boys started to get fidgety after 30mins which is the length of the tv show and other children were running about soon after the performance started! One couple had a baby under 1 there and the baby wasn't amused. You can't really expect toddlers to sit there for long let alone a baby!
The finale of the show impressed us the most with the bubbles..absolutely magical! There was also a beautiful starry night display which was totally worth it. We left and my sister had bought 2 balloons for the boys which they proudly showed off and a bag for my niece which in total cost £14.00..not cheap but these places never are! We collected out prams and headed out to the play park and then into town for lunch.
We had a superb time at ITNG live and I would highly recommend taking any fanatics to see it. I would recommend going off peak and getting cheaper tickets as other times may be too busy. The atmosphere was amazing with the toddlers interacting and singing. The actual show was impressive and well performed to be almost identical to the television show.
The characters interacted well with each other and I couldn't imagine how stuffy it would have been inside the costumes! My son, nephew and niece spent the whole day on a high and the evening showing on the television prompted my son to react completely different to normal. He was engrossed more than he usually is and was really excited at having seen his favourite characters. He woke up during the night asking for Iggle Piggle..so cute!
I am so pleased that we gathered up the money to take the boys to see this show. In total it cost more than the ticket price when you add train fares and the extortionate costs of tiny bottles of juice! Other than this, we found the whole experience amazing.
Thanks for reading!
**update - well the expensive balloon deflated after 3days but I did have fun with the remaining helium inside*
Note that this review was originally posted on Ciao by myself when the Glasgow show was still on but dooyoo only just added it to my suggestions. The Birmingham show is on at the moment and I suspect there may be another tour next year due to popularity.