I had another treat in the works while the Foo Fighters were lighting Wembley Stadium. With my 22-month old infant in tow, I made my way through crowds to the London SSE Arena Wembley. Paw Patrol Live! Race To The Rescue.
This was the 17th stop on a national tour. There were three show times available, so it was easy to fit in between nap time – winning). The great franchise was also the first live show experience of many people like my son who were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was an amazing first live performance! Ryder, the Paw Patrol leader was all eyes as he introduced his pups.
As Chase, Rocky, Zuma, Marshall, Rubble and Skye (later joined by Everest) sprung across the stage, you had to marvel at the costumes worn by the puppeteers – they move their pup’s eyes, mouth, ears and even tails so convincingly you soon forgot they were there.
Ryder and his pups raced in vehicles with lights. It was truly amazing.
The plot is simple and plays out like a longer Nickelodeon cartoon.
Mayor Goodway, the inept official in charge Adventure Bay, where Paw Patrol lives, will take part in a race against Mayor Humdinger (a savage from nearby Foggy Bottom).
But there’s one hitch – Goodway has hurt her foot, so calls on the Paw Patrol to take her place.
While some might argue that replacing one human with a group of highly skilled dogs does not constitute a fair race, the kids were lapping it up so let’s just go with it.
The audience is encouraged to help the pups solve clues. They can also boo Humdinger who tries unsuccessfully for them all.
Goodway, despite her injuries, is still there to help with moral support and the leaderboard. Her cheerleading chickens join her. It’s a fantastic and theatrical first.
My toddler was eager for some exercise and to stretch his legs. The 15-minute period arrived. It was difficult to find nappy changing facilities. I searched unsuccessfully for them and so I quickly made one with my denim jacket I found on the toilet floor. Perhaps the producers of this tour show would ensure that adequate signage is provided.
My little one was starting to get tired about 10-15 minutes before the show was due to end. Not bad though, given the 75-minute runtime and thankfully a dance opportunity was coming up which we fully embraced as *spoiler alert* the Paw Patrol were about to win the race.
Adventure Bay was named the winner. Bright streamers exploded across Arena to cheers from the children and relief from the parents.
The only challenge remaining was to escape without running into another merchandise stand, or risk the demand for an official spinning light-up toy, £28, or a picture with the Paw Patrol super imposed in the background – that will set you back £15.
Parents may struggle to get their children to share, but everyone gets a free cardboard pompom or maze when they enter the arena. My son smiled and said that it was worth it when the Foo Fighters performed live as we returned to the station.