How do you get to Sesame Street? This is a question many of us have asked throughout our lives and receiving a ticket to Sesame Street Live was, for me, like someone had suddenly handed me a golden ticket. Perhaps my feelings of nostalgia for those fuzzy puppets led me to hype this show up too much, but this felt like a let-down.
The excitement felt when Elmo and Co arrived on stage was undeniable. The costumes are fantastic and made you want to hug all of the adorable characters. The songs are good fun and have the kids jumping around on their feet like crazy. This is Sesame Street so there was of course a message here about how everyone can make music - although it may mean lots of noisy kids banging on pots and pans as soon as they get home.
The highlight of the show is undoubtedly when Cookie Monster appears on stage to make music from his cookie jars. ‘Cookie Crumba Rumba’ is a stand-out song that should be played more often at parties. Lots of the kids yell Cookie Monster’s name when he arrives, suggesting he’s an all-round favourite. It’s odd that he doesn’t return back onstage along with the others at the end. What are we supposed to imagine has happened to him? It almost doesn’t bear thinking about . . . Where was Big Bird too? It seemed like a significant absence considering there are so many less well-known characters onstage.
The venue is also a real issue. It’s a shame that the way to get to Sesame Street is through the Meadows Theatre Big Top, which may be fine for adult shows but for a kids show it is overwhelmingly stuffy. The atmosphere was stifling and oppressively warm which didn’t do the show any favours and meant a lot of the kids got fidgety and grumpy. The table set-up also doesn’t offer the best view for kids. The show was also let down by some sound issues which meant it was sometimes difficult to hear what the characters were saying.
This is a fun, enjoyable show that is saved by the fact that the Sesame Street characters are always irresistibly cute. Unfortunately, it’s let down by the venue, ticket price and sound issues. However, seeing Elmo in real life is likely to put a smile on any childs face – and most adults too. I still love Sesame Street but this show feels like it’s selling out a little bit. Whilst my five year old self screams at me to give my favourite characters five stars, it pains me to say that there are better and cheaper children’s shows on offer this Fringe.