MARK NICHOLLS Norwich Theatre Royal


> Norwich Theatre Royal

Aussie sensations Hi-5 sprinkled their own special brand of stardust over the Theatre Royal yesterday with three sell-out performances of their new Space Magic show.

With songs, dance routines and storylines to delight the 2-7-year-olds and a little comedy that nodded in the direction of parents, it's easy to see why the five are so popular.

The Space Magic show featured a vivid rocket ship that took Hi-5 to a range of weird and wonderful new planets with names such as Planet Movealot, Planet Jumpland, Planet Magic and Planet Disco.

With vivid sets and songs taken from the latest Space Magic album that fans will be familiar with from TV channel Five, the 75-minute performance saw youngsters following dance routines with a little on-stage assistance and joining in the with songs.

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Hi-5 are Kathleen de Leon, Charli Robinson, Nathan Foley, Tim Harding and Kellie Hoggart. For me, Nathan - particularly with his comic turns and space roadworker routine - was the real space hero, but the kids all have their own favourites.

The popularity of Hi-5 is undeniable with around 4000 people seeing them over the three shows. However, the Theatre Royal should seriously look at better ways of getting young families in and out of the venue where there are back-to-back performances.

For Hi-5 it was a second visit to Norwich following last year's successful shows.

And I'd bet on their popularity in the city being a big lure for them to return again in 2006.

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