When we went to the PNE, we tried to see the SuperDogs show at the PNE Forum, and it was so loud, we had to leave three minutes after struggling into our seats. I was a little bit worried we would be making another dash for the exit midway through The Great Big Boo, but I needn’t have worried – this show was made with little guys like my son Elliot in mind.
We entered the venue through a side entrance, directly onto the floor of the arena. Half of it was screened off, and surrounded by inflatable bits of set, including a pink castle and big letters spelling out BOO. Elliot was entranced as soon as we got in the door. My husband spotted the popcorn concession and that made him an instant convert. We made our way into the main stage area with Elliot skipping along, grabbing fistfuls of popcorn as we went.
I was relieved to see rows of folding chairs with a giant centre aisle, and big spaces on either side – lots of room for little ones to get up and wiggle if need be. The stage was high enough for Elliot to see most of the action from his seat, though he spent most of the show standing on his chair and leaning on one of us. At three years old, he’s not much taller than my husband sitting down.
The show itself manages to be Halloween-y without being scary. Lots of costumed children execute some great song-and-dance numbers, along with adult characters wearing giant puppet heads. Two children trick-or-treaters lose their way, and find themselves in a street that lives in fear of a witch that hates Halloween. An adventure follows as the children make new friends and save Halloween. Elliot watched with rapt attention through the first half, and needed to get up and dance through much of the shorter second half. The final exultant song was too much for our little guy and he clapped his hands over his ears, and wanted to go home.
As we left, we saw several of the characters from the show waiting to greet children and hand out candy – it was like a mini Halloween trick-or-treat run, which I’m sure loads of the children loved. Most of the other kids arrived in costume (oops! I haven’t made Elliot’s yet… eek!) and there were parts of the show that played on that, asking for the princesses to teach the big princess how to act, and so on.
It was great fun for Elliot. The same production company is putting on The Magic of Santa! at Christmas time, and we’ll definitely go. There’s a ticket offer on if you buy tickets for The Great Big Boo together with The Magic of Santa that saves you $5.
Disclaimer: I was given tickets to the Great Big Boo for myself and my family with the understanding I would review it on my blog.