Milkshake TV has been in our lives for a loooooong time. When J was little(r) and would be awake at 6am I would bring him in bed with me, put on Channel 5 and snooze a bit longer.
Current favourites are: Blaze and the Monsters Machines, Fireman Sam, Whispa and Paw Patrol. However, his most favourite character is Milkshake Monkey. He gets BIG smiles! Lately J has got into the Bop Box songs and dances on the catch up channel. He loves them…for me they just get stuck in my head FOR THE REST OF THE DAY.
So when I saw that Milkshake Live was coming to our town I was straight down the box office. This sounds simple enough but I have to be careful where we choose to sit. If there’s too many people in front of us then J would be distracted by the crowd and the movements. Luckily we got front row seats and they were on the end of the row which meant J had the aisle to go for space and to move around when needed.
To prepare J I showed him adverts that I had seen for the show. On the day of the show I did a run down of the days ‘schedule’ so J knew what was happening. He was very excited! I also contacted the venue to get more information on what to expect from the show. Mark at The Apex was very accomadating and checked with the shows producers about lights and sounds, so I knew that J could cope and not be over stimulated by all the sensory stuff.
We arrived half an hour early so J could get to know the place. He ran around, loved the lift and was so excited to see the Milkshake Monkey poster. After a quick wee we went into the auditorium. I wanted him to go in whilst it was quiet. This way the venue would get more crowded and noisier over time rather than all hitting J at once. At first he wouldn’t go in (bless the stewards and their patience). So I carried him and used Makaton to get him to focus on things that interest him such as the lights and the ‘books’ on the stage. Slowly we managed to creep in.
At first J hid under the seats, so we made a little den in the space in front of our seats. J sat there with his cars and snacks until he was comfortable to come out. He then moved to sitting on my knee with hands over his face and peaked out at the different characters.
Olivia and Amy were the presenters for our showing. I thought that all the presenters were going to be in the show, as that’s the impression I got from the promotions but it’s 2 different presenters for different times in the tour. Still, J was happy and smiled as he recognised them from the TV…he was excited to see Olivia on Milkshake Tv the next morning! I loved the ‘panto’ feel to the performance and the fact that the presenters didn’t take it all too seriously (a couple of ‘oops’ moments made it even more amusing for us adults). The presenters waved and smiled at the children which got them all very excited…J hid, haha.
The show is based around a magical story book and Milkshake Monkeys pursuit in becoming a Prince. There were several mini stories based on well known fairy tales. All the characters were very well known to J and he could tell me who they were. They linked well to each of the fairytale stories e.g. Noddy came to help with the mystery of Jack and the Beanstalk, Fireman Sam came to the rescue in Dick Wittingdon.
Each mini story was short enough that it didn’t get too much for the children. There was also an intermission half way which was a welcome break to have a loo run, get another drink and let J run around to get rid of some energy.
By the second half J had relaxed into it. He joined in dancing and was clapping. He didn’t like ‘scarier’ moments such as the ‘baddy’ in Aladdin and when there were lights and flashes-but he didn’t retreat into his little tent. It was a relaxed atmosphere and children were dancing in the aisle, going to front of the stage and shouting out to their favourite characters. I think Shimmer and Shine stole the show.
At the end Milkshake Monkey has proven himself worthy of becoming a Prince so everyone is happy. We managed to get a ‘meet and greet’ with Milkshake Monkey. I think this was the only disappointing part as it felt very rushed and it is literally only Milkshake Monkey that you get to have photo with-not even with the presenters which I was a bit shocked about as they were a big part of the show, not just Monkey. But J now has a photo of him with his ‘friend’ that he shows everyone.
So, would I recommend Milkshake Live? Yes, I would. I’d definitely say 2yrs+ due to the length of the show but other than that if your family are Milkshake TV fans or enjoy panto then you should definitely check out their tour dates.