01 02 03 The Princess and The Pickle: CBeebies Live! Reach to the Stars at Birmingham LG Arena 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

CBeebies Live! Reach to the Stars at Birmingham LG Arena

On Friday we travelled up to Birmingham to see CBeebies Live – Reach to the Stars at the LG Arena.  The Princess had entered a colouring competition and her creative flair had won us a family ticket to the show plus a meet & greet with the stars!

The tickets hadn’t arrived in time but we were able to collect replacements from the box office before the show.  The journey should have taken us just over 2 hours so we had an early lunch and set off at 1pm giving ourselves plenty of time to get there for the 5pm show.  Although, being Friday 13th, things were obviously not going to be that straightforward and half an hour into the journey we found ourselves sitting in the car for the best part of an hour at a complete standstill!  We worried about missing the show but eventually the traffic cleared and with more tension than one of Mister Maker’s ‘minute makes’ we arrived at the NEC car park at 4.30pm, got the shuttle bus service from the car park to the arena, collected our tickets, had a quick toilet stop and got to our seats just as the show was about to begin… Phew!

I knew The Princess would have a ball, she’s a huge fan of the CBeebies team, particularly Mister Maker and Justin Fletcher.  The Pickle loves CBeebies too and before leaving the house I’d said “Shall we go and watch CBeebies?” and he’d ran over to the TV excitedly, assuming that’s what I’d meant!  However, he’s only 18 months old and I didn’t know how he’d react to being in such a big place with loud music and bright lights, or whether he’d be able to sit still for long enough!  The show was the perfect length though, just right for holding the attention of the littlest CBeebies fans.  There were two 30 minute acts with a 20 minute interval and the music was at a level where parents would still be able to hear if their little ones were trying to say “Mummy I need a wee wee!!”

Anyway, on with the show….

Robbie Rotten (from LazyTown) has a plan to capture all the CBeebies stars so that he can be the only one left and therefore be the biggest ‘star’ of all.  He manages to disguise himself and trick the others into following him into his secret lair.  One by one the CBeebies cast disappear, including Postman Pat, Squiglet, the ZingZillas and even Mr Tumble!  PC Plum (Balamory) tries to catch Robbie Rotten, with the help of Katy Ashworth, Andy Day, Mister Maker and Sportacus, but in the end the baddy learns the only way he will get any applause from the audience is if he says sorry and sets everyone free.

The show was packed full of songs, including a few from Justin Fletcher’s album, ‘Hands Up’ and there was plenty of audience interaction throughout.  We all enjoyed the show and were thoroughly entertained.  The Pickle loved seeing all his favourite characters on stage and was mesmerised by the underwater scene with bubbles and dancers in UV costumes, this was very effective.  There was a good range of characters to suit the CBeebies target age range, with costume characters such as Mike the Knight and Postman Pat for the very youngest fans and the fantastic Justin Fletcher and Mister Maker to entertain the slightly older children.

When the show was finished we made our way to the front of the stage where we met the cast.  I think The Pickle was a bit unsure about being so close to the people who should be safely on the inside of the TV, but the smile on The Princess’ face for the rest of the evening was priceless!  She spoke to most of the stars, including Justin and Andy, who were all lovely, shared pink fashion tips with Stephanie and of course, met Mister Maker who was so friendly and loved the card The Princess had made for him!

The Princess and The Pickle had an amazing time and were so worn out from all the singing and dancing they both fell to sleep almost as soon as we got back to the car!

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