Engie Bengy

Norwich Theatre Royal

Norwich Theatre Royal

The blue-rinsed mechanic, a firm favourite on children's television, roared into Norwich yesterday for a couple of fast-moving shows.

Each lasted about an hour and a half, which included an interval, so neither was too taxing for all those involved and certainly not too long for anyone to get the fidgets.

There was a plot, albeit a thin one, which saw Engie Bengy repair all his old friends - Plane, Bike and Boat - with the help of Dr Lucy. Lucy, played by Evelyn McLean, held everything together and was the only actual person on stage - everyone else was in very impressive outfits.

They were voiced over, so you heard the dulcet ones of Ant and Dec and, rather spookily, Les Dennis.

This use of pre-recorded material did rather stifle the natural flow of the show but the cast belted out the songs and kept going despite a couple of hitches.

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The audience was young, lots of three and four-year-olds, and most did very well.

My four-year-old enjoyed it greatly, joining in all the dance movements and sing-a-longs but the six-year-old was a touch bored. It probably wasn't cool enough for him!

As ever, the main benefit of a children's show is to get youngsters into a theatre at an early age, hopefully encouraging them to become regulars as they get older.

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