When you are as big into crafting and making as The Wobbly Jelly is, and you’re also rather partial to an hour or two in front of CBeebies, there can’t be many better offers than a trip to the theatre to see Mister Maker and the Shapes Live, followed by a chance to meet the legend himself. We leapt at the chance when our local theatre, Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells invited us to do just that. The littlest Jelly Baby’s excitement was infectious and I found myself counting the number of sleeps until the big day.
For those parents who have been living under a rock for the last decade, Mister Maker like Tony Hart in the the 80s and Neil Buchanan in the 90s, is inspiring a generation of children to get creative. His high energy, fast paced television show has been on air for almost a decade but I’ll be honest I was curious as to how he would hold the attention of the audience for the length of a theatre show.
The moment Mister Maker jumped on stage (via Brazil) I knew the littlest Jelly Baby (aged 3) and I were in for a treat. The next 90 minutes whizzed by in a whirl of music, dancing, jokes and of course lots of crafting. It felt more like we were attending a huge party rather than a theatre performance with children encouraged to get up and dance, and parents invited to join in too. The littlest Jelly Baby was thrilled that the show included all of the things she associated with Mister Maker – gloopy glue, the doodle drawers, and of course the shapes. Adding further to her sense of excitement, the audience were appointed Mini Makers participating in their very own ingeniously devised minute make challenge.
Over the last five years I have accompanied the Jelly Babies to a whole host of children’s theatre productions based on their favourite television shows and as much as they have adored each of the shows, this is the first that I can honestly say I have loved. The thing that made the show so enjoyable for me, alongside the fact the audience were central to the entire show, was that the adults had been thought of as much as the children. With bursts of pop music from the nineties interspersed with the more traditional children’s songs and some jokes aimed at the parents and grandparents rather than the children and even some classic rave moves, the entire audience were catered for. We were both a little glum when the show came to an end but were thrilled that it was almost time to meet our crafting hero and I’m delighted to report that Phil Gallagher a.k.a Mister Maker was just as delightful as he appears on the television. We hope he’ll treasure the Big Pencil Case The Wobbly Jelly made him, just as long as we’ll treasure the memories from the day Mister Maker visited our home town.