While the Foo Fighters were illuminating Wembley Stadium, I had another treat in store. It was with some anxiety that I made my way through the crowds towards the London SSE Arena Wembley with my 22-month-old infant in-tow to watch Paw Patrol Live! Race To The Rescue.
This was the last stop of a national tour that lasted 17 dates. There were three show times available, so it was easy to fit in between nap time – winning). For the great franchise, this was also the first live show experience for many people like my son due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was an amazing first live show experience! All eyes were on Ryder, the Paw Patrol leader, as he introduced his pups.
As Chase, Rocky, Zuma, Marshall, Rubble and Skye (later joined by Everest) sprung across the stage, you had to marvel at the costumes worn by the puppeteers – they move their pup’s eyes, mouth, ears and even tails so convincingly you soon forgot they were there.
Ryder and the pups raced in their vehicles equipped with lights, which was quite frankly just amazing.
The plot is very simple and plays out as a longer version of the Nickelodeon cartoon.
Mayor Goodway, the bumbling official in charge of Adventure Bay, where the Paw Patrol lives, will be taking part in a race against Mayor Humdinger, a savage from nearby Foggy Bottom.
But there’s one hitch – Goodway has hurt her foot, so calls on the Paw Patrol to take her place.
While some might argue that replacing one human with a group of highly skilled dogs does not constitute a fair race, the kids were lapping it up so let’s just go with it.
The audience is encouraged and encouraged to help the pups find and solve clues. They can also boo Humdinger, who tries unsuccessfully to win them all.
Goodway, despite being injured, is still there to help with the leaderboard and moral support. She is joined by her cheerleading chickens. It’s a fantastic and theatrical first.
My toddler was eager to stretch his legs and get some exercise. The 15-minute interval arrived. It was difficult to find nappy change facilities. I searched unsuccessfully for them, so I quickly created one with my denim jacket from the toilet floor. Maybe the producers of this tour show will make sure that there is adequate signage.
My little one was beginning to tire about 10-15 minutes before the show was scheduled to end. Not bad though, given the 75-minute runtime and thankfully a dance opportunity was coming up which we fully embraced as *spoiler alert* the Paw Patrol were about to win the race.
Adventure Bay was named the winner. Bright streamers exploded across the arena to cheers from the kids and relief from the parents.
The only challenge remaining was to escape without running into another merchandise stand, or risk the demand for an official spinning light-up toy, £28, or a picture with the Paw Patrol super imposed in the background – that will set you back £15.
While parents may struggle to encourage their children to share, everyone gets a free cardboard pompom and maze upon entering the arena. As we returned to the station, the Foo Fighters played live, my son smiled and said it was worth it.
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