Teletubbies Live is touring venues across the UK, with dates announced up until October this year.
I’m a huge fan of theatre for children – I had the pleasure of seeing the likes of Postman Pat, Rainbow and Orville The Duck (showing my age a bit there) when I was younger, along with countless pantos. While nothing lately seems to have reached the heady heights of success the Wiggles had with their Arena Tours, there’s certainly lots on to introduce children to the wonders of theatre – Peppa Pig is a perennial favourite, and also smaller shows like Munchkin and Monsters’ The Reluctant Dragon.
The Teletubbies were a huge craze when they burst onto the scene 21 years ago, even managing a Number One single, so it may come as a surprise to hear that this is their first ever live tour. The programme was rebooted in 2014 and continues to entertain a whole new generation of children.
We’re introduced to the Teletubbies by Sam (Naomi Slater) who has come to visit Teletubbyland. Along with her friends (Rebecca Ayres, Liam Farrow and Michael Ruben), Sam explores Teletubbyland with Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po (Elliot Coombe, Alex Newbold, Laura Beth Mortemore and Lauren Martin), and they have adventures with cloud sheep, some beautiful rabbits, a mysterious door and some dancing flowers, not to mention a mishap with the Tubby Toast machine!
My little boy, who is not always keen on the idea of his favourite characters suddenly becoming 7ft tall and right in front of him, was a little nervous, and remained on my lap throughout, but has come home raving about it. In fact, as he’s the target audience (advertised as from babes in arms to 4years old), here’s his review:-
“My favourite bits were the dancing. Po and Tinky-Winky are my favourites because they’re red and purple and they’re my favourite colours. I liked it when the Noo-Noo was hiding, and the sparkly lights.”
Teletubbies Live‘s running time of just over 1hr 10mins including a 15-minute interval (the second half running a little shorter than the first) meant there were no restless children (and few restless parents too.)
Teletubbies Live is a bright and cheerful production, filled with song and dance, and plenty of gentle audience participation. The performers manage to toe the line of being enthusiastic without being patronising perfectly, while the Teletubbies themselves are as bubbly and affectionate as they are on the TV. A perfect show for a little one’s first trip to the theatre.
Production: Sat 16 June 2018, Derngate Auditorium, Northampton
Teletubbies Live runs at Royal and Derngate until Sun 17 June 2018, before continuing on tour throughout the rest of the year. Tickets are £18 each, with children under 6 months free (please inform the venue first)
Rebecca is a theatre lover originally from Birmingham. She founded On Stage Northants in 2017, and is passionate about promoting Northampton performing arts. Can usually be found behind the scenes, and occasionally in front of them too. Bec also runs Rebel Peacock Creative Media.