Mike Belgrave is a brave man. Children can be the harshest critics when you open yourself up to their opinions. He’s even braver for arming eight children with balloon swords and instructing them to stop him finishing his song. But he shows himself to be a true genius of children’s entertainment, pandering to his target audience of three-eight year olds. He skilfully engages them with his silly antics and allows them to feel like they’re one step ahead of the game.
Mike Belgrave knows exactly what he is doing and produces a stunning show for young children.
The material is unashamedly simplistic – rude noises, silly faces and amusing songs. It works a treat with his audience however. One little girl, Tegan, is so enthusiastic that she has to be ushered off the stage several times. A particularly commendable part of the show is his use of tech. Some simple projected animation with an “It’s behind you!” routine proves to be very funny for all watching. Likewise, simple jokes like coming back onstage with the wrong hat work wonderfully. Masterful use of reverse psychology (“You’re not to laugh at my lovely cat song!”) must also be praised.
With no offence intended, this act seems like it could have come straight out of a cruise ship or a holiday park: silly antics to keep the kids entertained whilst the parents can switch off for a bit. Parents should however be careful to judge if their child is at the right age or mood to enjoy such a show. A few of the older boys seemed a bit agitated and frustrated at the silliness going on in front of them, perhaps feeling that they were too old for this even though they were clearly engaged. Likewise, a much younger girl seemed a bit intimidated by the loud noises. A few jokes could also be said to last for a little too long. Some of the children occasionally switched off towards the end of segments, only to be revitalised by the introduction of new material.
Nevertheless, this show gets a definite recommendation. Mike Belgrave knows exactly what he is doing and produces a stunning show for young children.