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Review: Milkshake! Live brings high octane fun to Regent Theatre, Ipswich

Milkshake! live is fast-paced and high energy. Picture: Courtesy of Ipswich Borough Council

Milkshake! live is fast-paced and high energy. Picture: Courtesy of Ipswich Borough Council

Archant

It’s half term and that means only one thing in theatre land - auditoriums packed with over-excited children for family-friendly shows.

The touring Milkshake! Live Milkshake Monkey’s Musical crash landed in Ipswich today with Whisper, Shimmer and Shine, Noddy and Fireman Sam on board.

And how could we forget the star of the show, Milkshake Monkey?

I must admit, I was a little anxious about taking my nearly two-year-old daughter along, even to something as bright and cheery as Milkshake.

But there was nothing to fear, because the characters were truly captivating (even for a child who doesn’t sit still long enough to watch TV and had no prior knowledge of them).

The show was carefully crafted for its target audience - between two and six is probably the optimum age - and is broken into bite-sized segments to keep their attention from waning.

We started the show with a dance routine that was simple enough for the toddlers who were milling around in the aisles to pick up.

Then each scene revolved around a different TV favourite - Noddy was particularly popular with the younger members of the audience thanks to his bright, bold costume and over exaggerated movements.

Shimmer and Shine, the genies-in-training, brought some sparkley magic to the show for slightly older members but it was the Floogals who were most entertaining, with their giant props making them look smaller.

There is usually a point, just before the climax of the show, where it can be hard to maintain enthusiasm for the storyline - particularly in shows for youngsters - but in this case the fast-pace continued right to the final curtain, plus the added attraction of bubbles, more audience participation and pyrotechnics meant there was no danger we would get restless.

The concept was simple - bringing TV to life - but credit must go to the cast and the production team for adding real sparkle to this show, and achieving the impossible, making my energetic toddler sit still for 90 minutes.

As a side note, it wouldn’t have mattered if she hadn’t sat still, plenty of children were in the aisles dancing, down by the stage catching bubbles or just stretching their legs. This was, afterall, a show for pre-schoolers and primary school children.

The current tour runs until May 30 and shows are taking pace around the country.

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