REVIEW: TWIRLYWOOS (Underbelly Festival Southbank) ★★★★

Twirlywoos are a staple of the CBeebies baby TV show schedule – Great BigHoo, Toodloo, Chickedy, Chick and Peekaboo are ever curious as they enjoy adventures. Whether they travel to the real world or on their big red boat, they are always discovering something new and exciting with help from their friends who come to visit them. The show is intended to encourage children to think for themselves, gain confidence in perceptions of their own lives and develop their wonderful sense of inquisitiveness through each story.

This live version of the Twirlywoos comes from the producers of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show and Sarah and Duck Live on Stage and brings an enchanting show for young audiences. The show was the right length at 55 minutes and was relaxed enough that we could wander back and forth from the cushioned area with the baby, pop out to the loo and finish our ice lollies without a worry. It provided a wonderful array of bright colours, music, bubbles, singing and costumes and the production looked great and moved smoothly with the big red boat transforming into a launderette, a pizzeria and back to a party venue as the show progressed. The cast were engaging and moved seamlessly from puppeteers to children’s entertainers and captured the mini audience’s attention impressively.

Aimed at children and babies 1+, there were a range of ages present and whilst our 10-month-old enjoyed the bright colours and bubbles, my six-year-old also really got into the spirit and loved the inventive puppetry (especially the special singing guest who was declared the best bit), as well as an opportunity to get inside the Spiegeltent in the heart of the Underbelly complex on the Southbank. This was an exciting (if a little hot, thanks to the weather outside) experience in itself and the tent looks great, capturing a sideshow vibe but with added squishy mats and Twirlywoos cushions for this littler audience.

Overall this was a really lovely afternoon out for the family and we would all recommend.

Reviewed by Ana von Dienstag


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