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Children's shows - reviews

Andy and Mike’s Big Box of Bananas

Grove Theatre, Dunstable

Waiting for Andy and Mike's Big Box of Bananas - with her cuddly banana!

Saturday 28 April 2012, 2.00pm

Silliness and slapstick are the hallmarks of Andy and Mike’s Big Box of Bananas, the sort of mayhem that young kids (and big kids like my husband!) love!

In the colourful fast-paced show, CBeebies presenter Andy Day and his comedy partner Mike James go on a quest to find the password that will open the mysterious box that has been delivered to their “fun pad”.

The audience, who are brought into the action from the start – sometimes literally – are entrusted as “house sitters” while they are away and also have to monitor the boys’ dreams which get more and more bonkers throughout the show.

On their journey they meet singing air stewards, confused pirates Captain Ooo and Captain Aargh with big water pistols that I know my husband had his eye on – and Geordie talent show hosts Sunk and Wreck in Ocean’s Got Talent, where Fish and Chip Wrapper comes out on top!

The result is a cross between panto and the sorts of sketches you found on SMTV – witty dialogue, tonnes of energy and a great rapport with the audience. The pair also look like they are enjoying themselves enormously (and can still make each other laugh!) which all adds to the fun!

Some people think that doing a show for children is a chance to get away with something cheap and unfunny because it’s “only for kids” and won’t be noticed. WRONG – children notice EVERYTHING and Andy and Mike’s experience in this field really shows – they know what makes kids laugh and perform it skilfully.

All in all this is a show that brought a lot of sunshine to a very rainy afternoon!

Length

Approximately 1.5 hrs. The first half was about 45 mins and the second about 30 mins with a 20 min interval.

Age range

The show is recommended for “over 3s” and I think this is about right, plus unlike some of these kinds of shows, there is enough in it for adults to enjoy as well and all the slapstick made me chuckle too – laughing for my own sake rather than just to show my daughter it was a funny bit!

My two-year-old enjoyed it but got restless in the second half. She loved the set pieces like the pirates and the talent show and all the singing and dancing but I think some of the “exposition” in between went a bit over her head.

Other stuff

A nice little selection of merchandise that wasn’t too pricey compared to some shows! We got a cuddly banana for a fiver and a poster signed by both Andy and Mike for £3.

Other stuff included caps and T-shirts (£6 and £8), keyrings and magnets (£1.50) and a selection of obligatory flashing things (£3+)

For more information visit: http://www.andyandmike.com/

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