Review by Rosie Holmes
The Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury avenue is filled with excited young theatregoers this month as YouTube sensation Blippi comes to town starring in his very own musical. Following a sold out run in the summer, Blippi is back to entertain families once more this Christmas.
Blippi, originated by Stevin John is a character known for his orange glasses, braces and bowtie and recognised by children internationally. In his videos Blippi provides interactive and educational content for 2-7 year olds as he explores the world. One of my main concerns going to this show was that the performer playing Blippi was in fact not the original Blippi (Stevin John) but a specially cast actor for the musical. Luckily the children in the audience did not seem to notice and still screamed with delight when he appeared on stage.
Throughout the show, Blippi is assisted by his friend Mo as they try to fix the party machine. Along the way the audience are taken on different adventures as we meet more of Blippi’s friends. A highlight for myself and my two-year old nephew was the Monster Truck Song and the excavator song during which a huge monster truck and digger appeared on stage. These props delighted the young audience and the digger’s entrance from behind the curtain was particularly exciting - big and colourful enough to impress the toddlers in the audience.
The content was educational and fun. Blippi provided definitions of new words, introduced us to different animals and even sang a song about the importance of brushing our teeth. Blippi asked the audience to help spell his name, sounding out the letters as we went. Though this was slightly hindered by a glitchy screen, it didn’t seem to affect the children’s enjoyment of the show. The cast maintained the young audience’s attention throughout the show with lots of singing and plenty of audience participation as well as original songs and recognisable nursery rhymes that everyone could sing along to.
The set was colourful and visually pleasing without being too overwhelming and busy. The large screen spanning the stage was a useful tool transporting us underwater or to the starry night sky. The cast were impressively full of energy for a 10.30am show and were engaging and fun to watch throughout.
The show was around 60 minutes long with a ten-minute interval – this was definitely the right amount of time for the young audience; short enough to maintain their attention but long enough to capture their imagination and make this a special day out. During the interval a countdown timer appeared on the screen which meant adults knew exactly how long they had to rush their children to the loo or give them a snack. It also meant I could tell my nephew how long we had to wait before Blippi came back on stage.
This is not a show necessarily intended for all the family but one that is designed to appeal to children. That being said, the show was colourful, fun and educational. My two-year-old nephew had the time of his life and danced, clapped and cheered throughout. If you know a fan of Blippi, they are bound to love this show and will no doubt be entertained by Blippi’s silliness, energetic dance moves and catchy songs. As a children’s show it delivers what it sets out to do and I for one am going to have the excavator song in my head for days.
Blippi The Musical is playing at The Lyric Theatre until 8th January 2023, tickets available here- Blippi the Musical