Very Blue Peter
Gilded Balloon Teviot – Billiards Room
“1998. England are out of the World Cup. JK Rowling is still pretty skint. Richard Bacon has been framed. Or did it really happen? Or was it all just a cover-up of something much, much bigger? Get your badge on, here’s one we made earlier, welcome to the set of Very Blue Peter. A bonkers, immersive, party of a late night show – bringing you back to your childhood whilst destroying the innocence of all of it.”
Review by Richard Lambert, 2 Stars
If like me you grew up on Biddy Baxter’s Blue Peter and know it to be the squeaky clean children’s show then there’s a lot of fun to be had watching this show. The audience appeared to be mainly middle aged and therefore of the right demographic to get the jokes about “and here’s one I made earlier” and the stormy weather in the BBC Garden.
But the plot strays into a morph character that doesn’t seem to align with the plot or legacy of Blue Peter. Yes it’s random but didn’t quite do anything except fill time. Was there ever even a Morph character in Blue Peter or have the creators of this show confused Blue Peter with Tony Hart’s children’s show Morph? If so then more clarity to explain that this character has come from a neighbouring studio or something along those lines would help!
There is so much material that could have been included – many Blue Peter bloopers such as Val Singleton slipping in elephant wee and John Singleton being upstage by Shep. Lucy the Dog makes an appearance but is possibly not as funny and relevant as Petra or Shep. I wonder if the cast are too young to really know some of this stuff. Surely there’s comedy in the advent candle mobile catching alight and the bob sleigh that tipped over causing massive bruises? Or what about some of Peggy Parnell’s creations?
There was a water pistol at one point aimed at the audience and a couple of moments when some audience members were invited onto the stage, but even then it was all good wholesome clean fun.
The show is billed as nudity and 18+ however that appears to be a selling technique cos there was no nudity or sexual antics only some profanity. Over-selling is disappointing! With an up for it crowd at 23:15 why not go for it? Perhaps the cast need to change so the show can really rise to its potential? There was an open tracksuit top showing a beer belly and a Michael Flatley-esque Irish dancer outfit showing some front torso but that was it! More bland than edgey!
Very Blue Peter is a fun show but it wasn’t “very blue” and wasn’t very 18+ so disappoints in its finale.
Performance Dates Wednesday 1st – Monday 27th August, 23:15
Running time 55 minutes
Location Gilded Balloon Teviot (Billiards Room), 13 Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AJ
Box Office Tickets are available from www.gildedballoon.co.uk or 0131 622 6552
Previews: £6 Normal: £10 (£9) High: £11 (£10)
Producer Jamie Eastlake
Writer/Director Toby Boutall
Music by Swedish Death Candy
Twitter @followthecow, #verybluepeter
Notes Ages 16+, including strong language, nudity, and reference to alcohol and