Before I had my little dumpling, I swore blind I’d never be that mum watching In The Night Garden with my kidlet. I just thought it was a complete and utter nonsense. There was nothing about a Flying blimp called a Pinky Ponk or a blue sailor called Iggle Piggle that appealed to me.
Even when he was very small, about 2 months old and Aunty Tracey introduced it to him during tummy time whilst we were at a wedding, I still said I wouldn’t be putting that on of an evening because again, I thought it nonsense!
That was, until dumpling was about 5 months old and he started taking a keen interest in the talking Macca Pacca Aunty Tracey bought him (see a common theme here? Aunty Tracey has a lot to answer for!!) that I decided I’d let him watch one episode on CBeebies to see how he would take to it and what all the fuss was about.
That was about 6 months ago and we (uhhh, I mean HE!) hasn’t missed an episode since! I still thought it was a nonsense at first, but of course it would appear that way to me because I’m an adult – to babies, it’s a magical night garden, between sleep and waking where, all your friends come out to play, sing, dance and ride on the Pinky Ponk (or the Ninky Nonk, whichever is being caught that day!).
Now, I’m right there, every evening at 6:22pm with dumpling, waiting for the blue sailor (I assume he’s a sailor because his in a sail boat, but he doesn’t look like a typical sailor!) ‘to take the little sail down and light the little light’. I have no shame in admitting this either. It now part of dumpling’s bedtime routine and since he started watching it, he has been such a dream to put to bed at bedtime and happy enough to snuggle up with his signing Iggle Piggle and Captain America before going off to dream land.
So, when I saw that In The Night Garden Live was coming to Blackheath at the end of May, i was quick to book premium seats for the dumpling and I to go along.
We went to the 2 o’clock Pinky Ponk show on the 25th May at the Showdome in Blackhealth, London. The Showdome is a purpose built dome which stages ITNG live.
We arrived an hour ago early because I wanted dumpling to be comfortable and not rushing about and I wanted first pick of the front seats. We were 3rd in line so we managed to get brilliant spot at the front after collecting our pre booked goody bag.
The Showdome itself was wonderful. Dumpling’s face lit up something chronic when we entered the auditorium and he saw flying Pinky Ponk projected on the roof of the dome. I’ve never seen him this excited! It wasn’t just him who was filled with excitement either; most of the parents and adults accompanying their little ones were too!
As the show began at 2pm promptly and the beautiful title music started to play, the excitement of all the children was immense and wonderful. Then, out came Macca Pacca with his sponge, to look around the garden for faces to wash (Macca Pacca collects stones and has acute OCD!)
Soon after came the Pontipines, with the bugle popular Iggle Piggle and Tombliboos following.
The show’s second most loved character, Upsy Daisy was the last to have her face washed by Macca Pacca as a thank you for finding and returning his sponge after it went missing!
The show was 50 minutes long and I don’t think my dumpling has ever sat still and quiet for that length of time before. He was in utter awe and amazement.
The look on his little face throughout the show was priceless and the 2 hour nap he had afterwards was more than a reward for me! Now, when the show comes on of an evening, dumpling enjoys it even more and is so much more animated after seeing it live.
So, I am no longer a cynic and I am proud to say I am a huge fan of ITNG, as I’m sure millions of other parents are too and the £23 per ticket price was well worth the money!
You can book tickets online at https://www.nightgardenlive.com/book-now/venue/blackheath and the show is running until 10th June. Premium tickets are at the front of the stage and are a good choice for infants who might be able to see from a distance. Standard tickets are set back further from the stage but still with a great view.
I would thoroughly recommend this show if you have a little one who, like mine, is a massive fan of Iggle Piggle and his mates!
If you do go, let me know what you think!
Pip Pip, Onk Onk!