When we were invited along to review the new Mr Bloom’s Nursery Live Show I was just as excited as Jake. We had really enjoyed his very first trip to the theatre last month to watch Room on the Broom and as he is a Mr Bloom fan I knew he would love to see him on stage.
We chose to watch the show in Reading at The Hexagon Theatre as this was the nearest venue to us. We were greeted at the box office to collect our tickets and were offered a booster seat for Jake so he could get a better view which I thought was a brilliant idea (these were £2 to hire and you received £1 back after the show– although there wasn’t anyone manning the desk when we left and we chose not to hang around for the sake of £1). Once we sat down the veggies took it in turns to speak and let us know how long it was until the show started which got the kids in the audience very excited. Once the show begins the lights do dim but the stage is so brightly coloured there wasn’t any upset from the children in the audience.
Mr Bloom enters the stage after having been away on holiday with the veggies. The nursery is a mess from going away and there is a lot that needs tidying, only there is one problem… it needs doing straight away as a letter has arrived from King Edward (yep, the potato) and he is coming on a Royal visit today! The show revolves around the veggies and Mr Bloom working together to tidy and clean ready for King Edward and there are, of course, songs throughout… come on parents you all know the words!
″where is it you like to go, call me up and let me know, what is it you like to do, I’ll pop along and do it too…″
The show is split into 2 halves each being half an hour long with a 20-minute interval.
The website states that it is suitable for 2-7 year olds but the first half was mostly based on explaining the situations happening within the show such as the holiday they had been on and the impending visit from King Edward. Jake is 3 and in some places, this was a bit too much for him to take in. The older children were clearly engrossed in it all and as they have a better understanding of vocabulary they were happy to listen to the story and could gauge what needed to be done in order for Mr Bloom to be ready for the visit. When the songs came on Jake was much happier and loved joining in but he was ready for the interval when it came.
During the interval, there were plenty of snacks and drinks on offer. There was also a stall selling merchandise which included veggie toys, drinks containers and Mr Bloom outfits.
I must admit that one issue for me was the fact that the theatre wasn’t full. We were in the back row and the rest of our entire row was empty apart from 2 people sat at the opposite end… I almost felt like waving down to them ‘hello down there!’ Then the 3 rows in front of us were also empty. The seats were full behind us but the ones to the side had a lot of empty seats too. I think this had a knock-on effect to the atmosphere of the show because the audience has a lot to do with how a stage show comes across. I am not sure why seats were allocated by the theatre if they knew they didn’t have a full house and perhaps if this had been made clear to us when we went in we could have opted to move closer to the stage and nearer to other people.
Once we went back in the show had a different feel. Spoiler alert– however, if you are a Mum who quite likes Mr Bloom you may want to know this (but please don’t pounce on him!)– he comes back in through the stage door and walks around the audience. This immediately brought the atmosphere back into the show and the second half became more audience involved with the children getting up and doing actions, most standing up by the stage, dancing, parents being encouraged to join in and so on. Jake’s favourite part was the pantomime style sketch where a worm pops up on one side and then the other. The kids were screaming it’s there, no it’s there now, now it’s back over there!! Jake was in hysterics! Mr Bloom AKA Ben Faulks got this half of the show spot on and even though it was the same length as the first half it felt much quicker.
What tickled me the most was all the parents singing the songs word for word! These included ‘Meet The Veggie’s, ‘The Compo Song’ and’ Night Night Veggies’. We all watch far too much CBeebies!
All in all, it was a great laugh and lovely to be able to see such a well-loved character up on the stage. I would highly recommend this for children over 3 as I am not sure a 2-year-old would quite be able to hold their attention for that amount of time. It is a hard age range to try and cater for and I think he has done an amazing job of mixing up the content to try and keep everyone entertained… even us adults!
If you are looking for something to do as a family the show is only running until the end of April so take a look and see if there are any tickets left in your area.
*We received these tickets in exchange for this review. All opinions are honest and my own. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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