My name is Lily-Sue, but my mummy calls me Munchkin (or 'Munch' for short!) I am 8 years old, and this is where my mummy will help me write all about all the fun things we do together. I hope you enjoy reading about the adventures of my mummy and me, Munchkin, with the occasional appearance from the siblings - Beastie and Plumlet.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Andy and Mike's Big Box of Bananas!

The Boys go Bananas!

On Sunday, 3rd June, 2012, we set off on a trip to another theatre. This one was The Palace Theatre in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, and was for a very different kind of performance than the shows I am used to. This was the day we were going to see Andy and Mike's Big Box of Bananas!

Now, most of you should recognise one half of this comedy duo from the award winning, fun filled television channel aimed at children under 6 years old, CBeebies. Andy Day has been a member of the team of presenters on the channel since 2007, and has more recently become the star of his own series, Andy's Wild Adventures. Aside from all of this, he has always been my favourite of the presenters. The 'other half' of this partnership is Mike James. Andy and Mike have been friends since their school days, and have worked together both in and out of the spotlight of fame throughout the years.

We arrived at The Palace Theatre and collected our tickets. The Front of House staff were lovely and friendly, each one ready to help direct us to where we needed to be. This particular day was a very wet day, and as we travelled to Southend on the train and had a reasonable walk either end, we had the buggy with us. This was not a problem to the helpful staff. Although they did not have a designated area to store pushchairs, they had a safe area near the Ticket Office where we were permitted to leave it. So we found a spot where it would not get in the way and were confident that it would be perfectly secure.

I then ran straight over to the souvenir table which had caught my eye the second we entered the theatre lobby. A number of items were available, including t-shirts, posters, plush bananas, and my personal favourite, flashing microphones! I needed one of those, desperately!! Mummy doesn't usually give in to my demands, but today was different, and minutes later I was wearing my sparkly pink accessory around my neck!!

Next, we needed to get a booster seat as I have a tendency to get a little lost in theatre seats and have little chance of seeing anything on the stage when someone tall sits in front of me! These seats were available from the refreshment kiosk for a minimal hire charge of 50p, which was well worth it! So we were now ready - we had our tickets, a booster seat, our refreshments, and most importantly, I still had my sparkly souvenir!!

It was now time to take our seats!

So on this particular day, we had been invited to join Andy and Mike at their Fun Pad. From the very start, I knew we were in for a fun filled show as Andy and Mike enter the stage wearing pants over the top of their trousers, eye masks and capes. Just your average 'Superhero' attire! They jumped around the stage, dashed around the auditorium and gave us the perfect introduction to the genius slapstick mayhem that we were about to involve ourselves in!

Andy and Mike find a big cardboard box in their Fun Pad and enlist our help to 'house-sit' for them whilst they embark on their mission to discover its contents! They tried and tried to open the box, making us all laugh in the process, but a funny looking man on their TV (who looked very familiar!) told them that they had to find the magic word in order to get the box open, and he informs the audience that we must pay close attention to their dreams in order to help them find this magic word!

"Beddy Byes ... Close your eyes!"

So from there, we are taken on a crazy adventure through a series of their bizarre dreams, featuring flamboyant air hostesses (yes, female ones!), Captain Ooooh and Captain Aarrgghh the puzzled pirates and Sunk & Wreck, the Geordie hosts of their imaginary show 'Ocean's Got Talent'! Each dream reinforces the magic word, which the audience are encouraged to remember throughout the performance!

In between a great deal of jumping and running around the stage, the participation of individually selected spectators, comedic music and rhyme and general wackiness, Andy and Mike maintain a winning rapport with the audience as well as with each other. On a number of occasions, we were witness to some improvisation being suitably added to their script as they managed to feed off of the energy of their audience. Everything they did just ... well ... worked!

The whole show had a distinct feel of a pantomime, with the constant encouragement for the audience to shout and cheer at prompted (and some unprompted!) moments and with Andy and Mike regularly tearing around the auditorium, interacting with the audience, at points even whilst armed with ('loaded'!) Super Soakers! However, with the small size of the auditorium at The Palace Theatre, it sustained a personal and 'close' feeling the whole way through, making everybody feel as they were really a part of the action! Even mummy was laughing all the way through, as the humour was appropriate for all ages. After all, the audience is not 100% children, and they have recognised this and written their material accordingly. It is very cleverly done! 

At the end of the show, Andy spoke to us all about their latest work in progress titled 'Andy and Mike's Tick Tock Time Machine', which sounds brilliant. We can't wait for news of its release and hope it comes to a town near the Munchkin Patch!!

To top a simply wonderful afternoon, the stars of the show still had time for their fans and came to meet and greet each of us in the theatre lobby, taking a moment to have a photograph taken with each of us! After seeing Andy and Mike on the stage, and meeting them in person, we have decided that these guys should always work together, as they make a superbly winning team!

Thank you Andy and Mike for an afternoon full of madness, mayhem and memories!!

We were provided with tickets to see the performance for the purpose of this review, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% our own. 

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