Review: In The Night Garden at Blackpool Grand Theatre

In The Night Garden'Photo by Johan Persson
In The Night Garden'Photo by Johan Persson

If Andrew Davenport has a brainstorming book, it might resemble the ramblings of a madman.

The Teletubbies creator brought us Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa and Po - four pals who soundtracked the lives of children in the late 90s and went on to generate £1bn in merchandise sales alone.

But he and Anne Wood went further with In The Night Garden, with characters Igglepiggle, Makka Pakka, Upsy Daisy, the Tombliboos and a train called the Ninky Nonk.

Hallucinogenic names aside, they’ve struck gold again, fascinating toddlers far and wide and helping grateful parents get their children off to sleep each night.

The live show has been running since 2010 and has proved an unstoppable juggernaut.

This year’s show is loosely based on Igglepiggle’s busy day, characters we’re used to seeing on screen were tantalisingly now just a few yards away.

We watched as Upsy Daisy, greeted to the stage by rousing applause, did her dance and the Tombliboos drummed away to their hearts’ content.

The highlight though for the transfixed young fans was when the Pinky Ponk flew around this magnificent theatre.

Mouths agape, heads to the ceiling, their daily fix of this oh so valuable bedtime aid had well and truly come alive.

After an enthralling hour, Igglepiggle and his pals were gone. It was all too much for some, happy tears still falling as families made their way home.

For many it was their first taste of live theatre. Let’s hope they’ve got the bug for life.

In The Night Garden at Blackpool Grand Theatre