In the Night Garden Live Review: Pinky Ponk Show
Sophie has loved CBeebies ‘In the Night Garden’ since she was about 6 months old. We watch it together every evening at 6:20 p.m. as part of our bedtime routine. It captures her attention for the entire half an hour & gives her plenty of opportunity to dance along to the tunes. Sophie particularly loved Upsy Daisy for a long time, but has now switched her allegiance to the Tombliboos!!!
When the opportunity arose to go and see the show LIVE I couldn’t resist. I knew Sophie would love it.
Booking & Seats
The online booking process was painless & we received an email with our e-tickets instantly. We chose not to book Premium Tickets (to sit in the front 4 rows) as the Showdome Venue is quite small and you can get a decent view from wherever you sit. Seats are actually large carpeted steps & ideal for little ones. You do not get an allocated space so the earlier you get there, the more choice you have. We chose to sit at the top at the back & got a great view of the entire stage.
When booking your tickets online you are offered a Goody Bag full of In the Night Garden (ITNG) toys, books, cutlery etc. They are good value at £29 as, if you add up the RRP of each item, it comes to over £60. We chose not to purchase one purely because Sophie already has a gazillion toys, many with ITNG characters on!
The week before the show I had regular emails from the ITNG Live team, explaining how to get there, where to park, what to expect on the day etc. which were really helpful. They also stated that if we were running late then not to worry, just go straight in & enjoy the rest of the show.
On arriving at the Birmingham Showdome in Canon Hill Park, there were plenty of signs to the car park & parking attendants to support you. There is no charge to park at Canon Hill. We tried to find a space close to the Showdome as it’s a bit of a walk for little legs. I highly recommend taking a pushchair!!
On reaching the Showdome the staff could not have been more friendly. They were exceedingly helpful, scanned our tickets, gave advice & directions. A small refreshment area inside the entrance gave us the chance to buy drinks & popcorn. There was a large area to leave pushchairs & plenty of toilets with baby change & disabled facilities.
Once ready to go in, we were given instructions from the staff as to where to sit. This depended on whether we had standard or premium tickets. It was quite dark going into the seating area which made Sophie even more excited! There was also a free activity pack to collect on the way in.
Once seated & waiting for the show to start, we enjoyed watching the ‘projected’ Pinky Ponk flying over the ceiling & listening to the ITNG music.
There are two different ITNG Live stories – we watched the Pinky Ponk show where Makka Pakka washes everybody’s face. The shows follow the same format as the TV program with the same tunes, the child in bed having their hand stroked, the white flowers & Iggle Piggle sleeping in his boat.
All of the ITNG characters appear in the Pinky Ponk show & are introduced with their own theme tune & dance. Sophie (& most of the others kids!) loved these parts & all joined in. When the Tombliboos came out & did their dance, Sophie’s face was so full of joy & disbelief it made our day – I almost shed a tear.
Towards the end, during the dance sequence, loads of bubbles were released throughout the Showdome which the kids absolutely loved!
Iggle Piggle & Upsy Daisy were life sized characters throughout most of the show. Makka Pakka was a mixture of actor & puppet (to keep the size ratio correct when the characters appeared together). The other characters were either puppets (worked by the puppeteers in green costumes & bowler hats) or projected onto the backdrop or ceiling. Sophie adored them all & wasn’t at all put off by the ‘green’ humans!
The show lasted just under an hour & Sophie was entranced the whole of the time!
Meet & Greet
We didn’t do the character meet & greet as Sophie is not a fan of enormous characters coming to life close up. I knew it would likely result in a meltdown so decided not to risk it. However, if you do choose to do this it is very well organised. You don’t have to queue, but receive a text when it is your turn & you get a photo of your little one/s with their chosen character included.
By the time we left we certainly hadn’t had the cheapest of times (£7.50 for a glowing windmill & £8 for a Pinky Ponk balloon). However it was such a fantastic show I would certainly do it again!
Watching the show’s characters come to life for a two year old is incredible. It’s something you won’t ever forget even if your little one doesn’t remember! Sophie is now even more obsessed with the show. I will never forget the look of amazement & joy on her face throughout the show (or the tears at the end because she didn’t want it to finish!). It really is a must see for any In The Night Garden fan.