Mister Maker Live

I have great admiration for Mister Maker (or Phil Gallagher to give him his real name) and the production team behind Mister Maker, as not only do they have a successful kids TV show franchise in Mister Maker but they also convinced the BBC to commission a series where Mister Maker goes around the world doing his arts and crafts thing.  Australia, South Africa, Brazil……good on you Mister Maker.

From a team that convinces the BBC this is a good thing it comes as no surprise that the next step would be a live show which has already toured in Australia and is now doing the rounds of the UK with dates already in up to June 2016.

Master ATWWAH is a big fan of Mister Maker so when I heard he was on tour I looked into tickets and bought two for the St Albans show, which at the time was the closest to London.  Off we went this morning on a mum and eldest son adventure catching the train up to St Albans.  I’d bought tickets for the 1pm show, there was an earlier one at 10am and a later one at 4pm.  Mister Maker definitely works hard and is clearly popular with the kids.  Ticket prices were pretty reasonable too at £13 for adults and £10 for under 16’s as the show is about 80 minutes long as well as an interval of about 10-15 minutes.

We got to St Albans with about an hour to spare and decided to have lunch first.  There is nothing worse than the theatre on an empty stomach!  We were very unoriginal and went to Relish, which is next door to St Albans Arena.  It boasts ‘real burgers’, as opposed to what I’m not quite sure.  It was really busy as a show had just finished and we were told there would be a 30 minute wait for food which only ended up being about 20 minutes.  Luckily they have a stack of kids games piled up so we had a couple of games of Guess Who and Connect 4 while we waited.  I’d forgotten how much I loved playing Connect 4 and was a bit sad when Master ATWWAH revealed he had played it before in a kids club on the Norwegian Jade.  I’m definitely buying it for home though, it brought out my competitive spirit.

The food arrived and was nothing amazing but Master ATWWAH seemed to like it.  He has such an obsession for burger and chips at the minute.

food

Kids burger and chips at Relish, St Albans

With about 10 minutes to spare we headed next door to the venue.  Obviously there was a retail stand and I was robbed £7 for a luminous windmill thing which I’m sure you can pick up in the 99p shop near us.  I consoled myself that Mini ATWWAH would love it too when we got home.  I couldn’t resist being a total mum though and commenting to another how expensive the merchandise was (£5 for a Mister Maker lanyard!!!!) and she made an amusing remark that he should be renamed ‘Mister On The Make’.

luminous windmill

Hmm, well worth £7

Our seats were brilliant, we were on the second row from the front and in the middle so had a great view.  Mister Maker’s friends, four very enthusiastic singing and dancing performers, warmed us all up by getting us to cheer loudly until he came out etc and introducing the first of many a song.  What is it about TV presenters having to sing and dance on cbeebies?  Mr Bloom and his veggie nursery, Katy from I Can Cook, Nina from Nina and the Neurons all have to murder a tune as they go about their business.  Tony Hart and Johnny Ball never did such a thing.  Although it’s Dr Ranj on Get Well Soon I feel more sorry for, the man is a qualified doctor who deals with sick children every day, and his show is brilliant but then he has to sing and dance with puppets about poo.  Anyway, I digress……

Mister Maker, shock horror, sings and dances A LOT during this show.  It is with a certain sense of bashfulness and irony but as the show progresses you definitely get the impression that he likes a dance and is possibly imagining he isn’t in the St Albans Arena entertaining a load of little kids and is in fact headlining Wembley Stadium.  In fairness though he did seem to be able to hold a tune and it is a good way to get the audience to participate as realistically they can’t all join in with a ‘mini make’.

Mister Maker and friends

Take That, sorry Mister Maker and friends…..

The one downside of the show is that there isn’t much arts and crafts about it.  It would be difficult to pull off as it’s not that entertaining to watch someone make a sock puppet live but it isn’t the show for you if you are expecting your kids to come out having made something.  There was some on stage participation with a little boy using props to make a collage of Mister Maker’s face but that is the only time a kid made something.  Mister Maker and his friends did a couple of ‘mini makes’ and all the kids in the audience participated by scrunching up a piece of paper to be included in one of the makes.

If you don’t have seats right at the front you should be able to see everything that is going on when the makes are happening as there is an on-stage camera with the pictures projected on a screen.

There was an amusing part of the show where three parents were chosen to go on stage and model Mister Maker’s makes which were all animal related and they had to make animal sounds.  The dad who did the elephant noises was brilliant.

dad and Mister Maker

The dad with the brilliant elephant sound impression ‘winning’ an elephant to take home with him

Throughout the first half there was constant reference to ‘the shapes’ and anyone who has watched Mister Maker will now be cursing me as they start singing ‘I am a shape….’ They made their appearance in the second half with lots more singing and dancing.

Mister Maker and the shapes

Hooray, it’s the shapes

Overall it was good fun and I think a great show for anyone aged 4-7 and entertaining enough for parents too.  Anyone younger than 4 would probably get bored and anyone older than 7 may find it a bit babyish with the singing and dancing.  Although I’m not entirely sure when kids grow out of dancing along to songs with actions.

Master ATWWAH’s verdict was ‘good’ and his favourite bit was ‘seeing Mister Maker’.  He laughed in all the right places and definitely got the joke with the talkative rectangle from the shapes which I wasn’t sure would go over his head, but it didn’t.

The show runs well into next year and all the dates are on the Mister Maker Live website.

Which is the best live show you have seen based on a kids TV series?  Or, is there one you’d love to see turned into a show? 

If you liked this post then take a look at a couple of these:

A day out with Thomas and Friends

Learning about space at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich

First theatre experiences with In The Night Garden Live

Is Peppa Pig World as annoying as the TV show?

Sing along with the show tunes at Baby Broadway

 

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