Bella’s Birthday Treat – In the Night Garden Live – 7th August 2019

The big day has finally come. We’ve been waiting for this day for the past 6 months, if not longer. I had booked Bella tickets to go see In the Night Garden Live at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury. We had given them to Bella has her birthday present to go with her In the Night Garden themed birthday party. She didn’t really care back then. I mean they were just little pieces of paper that meant nothing to her.

Turns out she was pretty excited to go. I got her dressed in her pretty little outfit and sorted out her bag. You are allowed to take photos and videos of the performance so I had hunted out my Powershot camera as I didn’t want to take my massive DSLR and deal with an excited toddler. I packed it into my bag and made sure I had my purse. It was effectively Bella’s birthday part 2 (or 3 if you count her party. She is one spoilt little girl) I was perpared to buy her anything she wanted at the theatre and we were also going out for dinner after the performance so we needed money to pay for that.

While I finished packing my bag, Daly put Bella in the car. Like I said she was so excited, it was lovely to see.

We made our way to Canterbury and parked up in the Marlowe Theatre car park. It now has the number plate recognition cameras as you enter and you have to enter you number plate before you leave and pay for your parking before it’ll let your car out the barriers.

I got Bella out of the car and we went to take a slow walk towards the theatre, alone the river while Daly locked the car up. We had made it to Canterbury in good time. We had arrived in city just after 3pm and the show started at 4pm.

Soon Daly appeared on the path behind us. Bella and I were looking for ducks on the river but sadly there weren’t any. Didn’t seem to bother Bella though she was having fun just running along the path.

We soon made it to the theatre and I jumped in the queue for the merchandice before it got too long. I asked Bella what she wanted. They had loads of items: toys, books, t-shirts. But Bella decided all she wanted was a spinning light up windmill. I also grabbed a programme to keep for Bella’s memory box.

We paid for our items and then stood out of the way of the crowds. I had seen online there was a large wall with an In the Night Garden backdrop for you to take your photos in front of. We managed to find it and then stood to one side to wait our turn.

Bella refused to go and have her photo taken on her own so I went with her. We posed nicely for our photo and then moved out of the way so all the other children could have theirs taken as well.

We heard that the auditorium was now open, so we headed upstairs to find our seats. I guessed that would be more fun than standing around in the foyer with all the other people.

Bella climbed the stairs nicely holding my hand while Daly walked up behind us. It was nice a quiet on the first balcony. There was only us and another family up there at the time so it was a perfect opportunity to take some photos of Bella with her wand. Especially as when we got to the top of the stairs she decided she was going to sit down.

Daly had my camera, so while I was trying to get a photo of Bella, he was taking a photo of me taking a photo. It’s always fun to see behind the scenes.

I checked our tickets and located the door we needed to enter by. Daly and Bella went in to the auditorium first. They gradually made their way down the stairs and hunted for our seats. I had chosen somewhere near the middle of the balcony as we normally come her for the pantomime and I knew that the centre of the balcony, no matter which row your in has a fairly good view.

We’ve made it!

Bella and Daly found our seats and Bella settled herself down between to two of us. Sadly she was a little short but luckily the theatre had plenty of booster cushions. Daly went and got her one so she would be able to see the show from her own seat if anyone sat in front of her.

Now to be warned, a lot of the blog from now on will be very little text and probably a lot of photos of the show. But we were prepared to have a good time as a family.

After 30 minutes of sitting, waiting, it was show time. The lights dimmed and on stage was a book with the title of the show.

After introducing the show the usual beginning theme started. Bella grabbed Daly’s hand and drew round and round it like they do at the beginning of the show.

IgglePiggle appeared on stage after the intro and I have to admit I nearly cried. I was so emotional. I wanted Bella to have an amazing time and when they had first introduced the characters they had just come out with tiny hand puppets. Both Daly and I had got a bit disappointed when we saw the little puppets, we had hoped they were going to be life size. So when a giant life sized Iggle Piggle came out I welled up.

Bella was so excited when Makka Paka turned up. I managed to get a video of her clapping along with his song. So cute!

It was brilliant how they were able to transfer between the different sizes of characters and the proportions of one character with another.

Bella was loving the show. I’m so happy she enjoyed it so much.

They used a combination of projections, and live action and props.

Half way through Bella wanted to come and sit on my lap rather than Dalys so I left Daly in charge of the camera.

The big surprise came towards the end of the show. I had read that they were going to have a Plinky Plonk that flew. And at the end of the show it appeared! It was brilliant, it flew over the whole of the auditorium.

At the end of the show all the characters came and danced on the stage like that do at the end of each episode on the TV.

Finally at the very end the book reappeared to finish the story.

Inside the book all the characters were going to bed. All except IgglePiggle.

It was a brilliant show. Well worth us taking Bella. She had an amazing time. I’m so happy we took her.

After the show everyone started to leave the theatre. Daly carried Bella down the stairs so she didn’t get swept up in the crowds.

Once we left the theatre we headed through town to find somewhere to eat. I decided that heading to spoons would be a better place to eat rather than another trip to McDonalds or a Subway. At least that way I knew we were all getting a decent meal.

We made it to the Wetherspoons at West Gate and found somewhere to sit. We managed to find a booth at the back of the pub. Bella loves the booths. She prefers to sit on the bench seats over a regular chair. If she’s in a normal chair I normally have to transfer her to a highchair half way through dinner.

I tried to order using the app but I could not manage to get any internet connection. Even when I connected to their wifi. When I eventually made it on to the internet and opened the app, everytime I pulled up the pub and their menus it said none were avalible. It drove me crazy.

Daly, however, seemed to be having far more luck than me. He downloaded the app, managed to find the pub and pull up the menus. We ordered via the app using Dalys phone. Although like normal Daly had to change something on his order. I don’t see why he can’t be normal and not alter his order.

Our food turned up and we tucked into our meals. Both Daly and I had ordered burgers but we had got Bella some good old chicken nuggets.

After our meal Bella did a little bit of drawing and colouring while Daly and I finished our drinks. We eventually finished and decided we should probably make our way back to our car.

We walked back up to the car with Bella walking nice and sensibly holding our hands. I spent the whole time worrying that she was potentonally going to run off or try to run into the road but no. I don’t know why I worry, she’s so sensible, I think I was edgy where we were in the city.

I set about trying to pay for the parking while Daly went and put Bella in the car. I had a fit with those new machines. They didn’t want to accept my car so that didn’t help my anxiety.

After about 6 attempts my card was finally accepted. By the time I’d paid for the parking Daly had already pulled up to the barriers. I jumped in and off we went homeward bound.

I’m so glad Bella had an amazing birthday treat. It was lovely seeing her face light up excitement. Now to look forward to next years birthday.

Anyways, night all and let’s see what adventures tomorrow holds for us.

Love CiCi x

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