First published on 7 Sep 2012. Updated on 7 Sep 2012.
The best way to envisage the Australian Channel Nine TV sensation Hi-5 is to imagine what would happen if five perky young adults swallowed rainbows. If these bubbly, bouncy, day-glow sensations, estimated to reach a global audience of 1,000,000 children, don’t mean anything much to you, then there’s a pretty good chance you haven’t been hanging out too much lately with too many kids under-five.
I on the other hand, bought both my one and four-year-old to the show, and can safely report that they were absolutely spellbound by the hour-long “Hi-5 Holiday” show at the Marina Bay Sands. And while it’s not exactly music that I’ll be popping into my phone and rocking out to in my spare time any time soon, the energetic troupe comprising Stevie Nicholson, Casey Burgess, Lauren Brant, Tim Maddren, and newest member Dayen Zhang (replacing Fely Irvine) put on a fun, toe-tapping show of disco-driven dance numbers – which, quite literally, had dozens of their less-than-a-metre tall audience dancing in the isles.
Hi-5’s familiar songs are so popular with my kids that I have most of the song lyrics scarred across my memory for all time, yet the formula, which has seen the group produce 13 series and counting, works a treat with its audience. And true to form, when the group trotted out songs such as ‘Let’s Get Away’, ‘Wonderful’, ‘Zoo Party’ and ‘Celebrate’, they sang and danced in perfect tune (no lip-syncing here) and unison – not withstanding a little more perspiration than is obvious on TV, clearly filmed in a cooler climates than here.
The show centres on the adventure of our favourite five on a search for Hi-5 Island, and also features puppet characters Chatterbox (or Chats), and a cameo by the illusive Jup-Jup. Music and slapstick jokes aside, the involvement of bouncing balls into the audience, thousands of bubbles, and an array of day-glow merchandise (but of course) makes the show an experience well worth considering – you could do a lot worse than take your little ones (or even a friend’s kids) along this weekend. And don’t be too surprised if you quietly enjoy the colourful madness, almost as much as the kids.
After all, it has to be noted that on a scale of kids-annoyance, Hi-5 rates as cute, mindless, kiddie-disco fun – and far lesser evil than some of the more saccharin-sweet shows of its ilk. And yes, Barney, you evil purple dinosaur monstrosity, I do mean you.