Reviewer: Jenni Dixon[Rating: 4]
Milkshake favourite Derek Moran and newcomer Olivia Birchenough headline the live performance brought to Worthing at the Pavilion Theatre. Birchenough has recently graduated from the Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance in Kent while Moran has been part of the Milkshake team since 2007, originally of Irish boy band D-Side fame.
Derek and Olivia are bright and loud. They sing and dance all the Milkshake! songs as well as some classics such as Dancin’ in the Street and they make sure the audience is involved with every modernised nursery rhyme (Wheels on the Bus, One Finger One Thumb etc). They are joined by several backing dancers who fill the stage with bright costumes; boosting the energy vibes collectively. All perform to a high standard and their enthusiasm never wanes.
Some well-known Milkshake! characters, including Little Princess and Scruff, Noddy and Tessie Bear, Roary and Big Chris, Fifi and Bumble and B1 &B2 – the Bananas in Pyjamas join Derek and Olivia. They have control of an oversized TV remote which allows the characters to leave the TV and join them in real life on stage! The vague story line is then how the presenters get them back into the TV again in time for their shows in the morning. With pantomime-esq banter and audience participation, they eventually do just that.
The cast are on stage for half an hour before a 15 minute interval is taken and then another 30 minutes concludes the show. Perfect timing for the younger audience members who all seemed genuinely in awe of their favourite characters alive on stage. This was a really fast paced and well-timed performance clearly directed with young audience members in mind. The only thing to let it down was the sound quality, sometimes the music was too loud to hear Derek and Olivia complete their dialogue and some of the voice recordings for the Milkshake! characters were difficult to make out too. Otherwise, it was a great end to the summer holidays and a fantastic distraction for all those anxious pre-schoolers (and parents!).
Runs until 2 June 2013 at various UK venues.