REVIEW: BLIPPI (Apollo Theatre)

Some of you may be fortunate enough not to know Blippi’s oeuvre, which includes the iconic ‘Brush Your Teeth Song’, the inspired ‘The Monster Truck Song’ and of course, who can forget that classic banger ‘The Excavator Song’.!

I specifically requested the opportunity to review ‘Blippi The Musical’ as it was a favourite of my little boys as they were growing up and I thought they might like to revisit some of those memories (they’re still on 5 and 6).

The show has no program and the website lists no performers, which is a bit sad for them and means I won’t be able to mention any of the performers by name, though I’m pretty sure Blippi was played by the new ‘official’ actor, Clayton Grimm.

The show is essentially a revisit of all of Blippi’s fan favourites, as previously mentioned, and is performed by Blippi and four backing dancers/singers, though sadly much of the backing vocals appeared to be click-tracked – it seems such a waste to employ four clearly talented performers and not showcase their live vocals suitably and I wonder why this decision was made. Blippi’s vocals were all live, however, and Grimm did a great job of portraying Blippi’s indefatigable enthusiasm and curiosity.

The performance kicks off in suitably high energy mode with a greeting from Blippi, in his trademark blue and orange, as he teaches us how to dance and sing the number ‘Do the Blippi’. Sitting in Row L in the stalls, the amplification of the music and voices was ear-splittingly loud – so much so that I covered my ears at one point. One hopes that all these miniature humans left with their eardrums fully intact.

Soon after the opening number, the Party Machine was wheeled out, a bright, colourful contraption that looked capable of all sorts. Alack, it was faulty, Blippi told us, and would need to be fixed by none other than his trusty friend, Mo the Mechanic.

I cast my eyes skywards to look for the inevitable bubble machines, confetti cannons or balloon nets but could see nothing. They must be very well hidden, I thought…..

The next 65 minutes passed in a blur of Blippi classics, as Mo the Mechanic’ struggled to get the broken Party Machine working, culminating in the arrival of a large and impressive on-stage Monster Truck and Digger, much to the delight of the assembled throng!

Finally, after a short interval, the moment came when the Party Machine was ready, and with a push of the big orange button the machine sprang into action and produced the grand reveal of…. Four balloons and six streamers released onto the stage (nowhere near the audience): underwhelming just doesn’t quite cut it!

‘Blippi The Musical’ has already sold out its summer run and is now booking again for Christmas, so I can write this review safe in the knowledge that the show is already successful, but to me, something that could have been so much more exciting, involving and magical for many children who will be coming to the theatre for the first time was somewhat ‘dialed in’ by the show’s creators. I’m sure the toddlers and rugrats won’t mind, but I was a little disappointed.


Reviewed by Jody Tranter