Naomi Slater as Sam with Noo-noo and the Teletubbies

Teletubbies Live

The New Alexandra Theatre


Anything that keeps my two-year-old grandson not just quiet but enthralled for an hour is something special – and the giant, colourful figures of Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po, live on stage, managed to do just that.

His wide-eyed face, full of concentration, said it all. This was the wonder of live theatre. OK, Teletubbies is hardly Shakespeare and trying to explain them to someone who has never seen them would be a hard ask, but to him this was magic.

He’s already a seasoned theatre goer these days but for many this was their first experience of live theatre and when it is as good as this . . . well, you never know, a seed might have been sown, and perhaps, one day, they will be back for Shakespeare or Miller or Tennessee Williams.

The four Teletubbies . . . I’m not even going to try to explain them . . . are larger then life and brightly coloured in red, purple, yellow and green. Behind them is a huge screen with the familiar background from the much-loved TV series as well as some – not always successful – live video close-ups of the action on stage.

Anyone who has seen the TV series, now 21 years old, will know that the Teletubbies speak that well known language of the babe in arms, gobbledygook, so we needed Naomi Slater as the narrator, Sam, and what a splendid job she made of it, all smiles and friendly encouragement. The kids took to her straight away like a big sister or a favourite aunt.

She did a brilliant job of keeping things moving and engaging the children at every turn but the stars of the show, as far as the children were concerned, were the Teletubbies with Elliot Coombe as Tinky Winky, Alex Newbold as Dipsy, Laura Beth Mortemore as Laa Laa and Lauren Martin as Po – all presumably slowly melting away in heavy, padded costumes under theatre lights. Suffering for their art indeed.

The quartet managed to move act and even speak like the TV characters with the only thing missing, the TV screens on their tums – for which I am sure four young actors were eternally grateful.

Liam Farrow and Michael Ruben, brightly coloured like everything else, moved props and acted as puppeteers for rabbits and sheep while Rebecca Ayres, as well as stage hand, popped up as a shy flower and a school teacher in what was a fast-moving collection of short scenes, all short enough to keep interest and none long enough to lose it, and all, usually, with a simple song and actions.

We had Noo-noo the vacuum cleaner with a mind of its own, the Teletubbies’ toaster, flinging bread al over the stage, and all ending with the traditional bye-bye.

As far as childen were concerned this was Teletubbies made flesh, and they loved it, and, when it comes to theatre,  you can’t ask for more.

Roger Clarke



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