In The Night Garden LIVE

In the night garden is a staple part of the bed-time routine in our house and has been for the last 6 years since the boy was a babe. When I was a kid I have fond memories of Sesame Street, Pigeon Street (lots of streets weren’t there) and Mr Benn. Although only first broadcast in 2007, In The Night Garden has a time-less charm about it, and until I just checked, would have sworn it was on when I was a child too!

I love the theatre and all things arty but it’s not usually a very kid friendly experience. We’ve put off going to panto’s so far for this very reason – sitting stationary in a crowded space for long periods of time just doesn’t work with my little tearaways! But we made the pilgrimage to the O2 nonetheless for In The Night Garden Live as they both loved the show so much and we weren’t disappointed!

The live show has just started touring around the UK and by the looks of the website will be the last time the show is performed within its inflatable ShowDome venue. The moment you enter the ‘ShowDome’ (an inflatable igloo-like structure) you feel at ease. The staff are welcoming, helpful and even parked our buggy for us. The chap on the merchandise stand stood patiently as Wilba chose between a £4.50 Upsy Daisy hand puppet and a Tombliboo. There was a £39 gift bag on offer too which included lots of bits but Wilba was equally pleased with her less pricey gift. There’s a microwave in the dome, kids chairs, tables and colouring to keep toddlers entertained pre-show plus toilets and baby change. We even got a FREE show programme!

As you walk through a coloured tunnel to the stage you can hear the excitement as you enter a giant white dome that has scenery and images from the show projected on the ceiling as an extension to the vibrant staging and movable grassy platforms, all of which help to create the characters colourful home. Every so often the Pinky Ponk travels across the ceiling to the amusement of the kids whilst frequent time-checks are announced letting you know when the show was about to start. Seating is on tiered boxed steps and the stage is clearly visible from anywhere in the room. You can upgrade to premium seats (the front few rows) but we were more than happy with our standard seats. These are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis so try not to be too late if you do want to choose. If you can, I recommend the seats just after the premium seats’ separation barrier as Wilba enjoyed standing at the rope now and again to stretch her legs.

The show itself is just magical and the puppetry is beautiful. There are two different shows to choose from, we watched the Pinky Ponk show (Makka Pakka Washes Faces) and there’s also the Ninky Nonk show to see as well. They use a range of different puppet techniques to tell the story, from full-sized costumes, body puppets attached to the feet of the performers, to my favourite – the Pontipines, who are brought to life by a carefully choreographed routine. Wilba had to wait until near the end to see her favourite character Upsy Daisy, and held the attention of most of the kids for the 45 minute show, which in my opinion was just the right length. My only niggle was that it was very warm in the dome but we did go on an unexpectedly humid day. Just make sure you dress cool or wear removable layers. All in all I would rate the show 4 cookies out of 5.

Thank you In The Night Garden for all the smiles, the bubbles, and for bringing this wonderful show to life.

For more info or to book tickets visit

Tour Dates/Venues:
London, The O2: 24 May – 9 Jun
London, Richmond Old Deer Park: 16 Jun – 1 Jul
Birmingham, Cannon Hill Park: 7 Jul – 22 Jul
Manchester, intu Trafford Centre: 28 Jul – 19 Aug