Paw Patrol Live: Race To The Rescue at Wembley Arena review - an engaging treat, including the chickens

·3-min read
The Paw Patrol rounded off their 17-date UK tour at  London SSE Arena Wembley (Paw Patrol Live)
The Paw Patrol rounded off their 17-date UK tour at London SSE Arena Wembley (Paw Patrol Live)

While the Foo Fighters lit up Wembley Stadium, I had a different treat in store. It was with some trepidation that I headed through the crowds to the London SSE Arena Wembley next door with my 22-month-old in-tow, to watch Paw Patrol Live! Race To The Rescue.

This marked the final stop for a nation-wide, 17-date tour (three show times were available, so easy enough to fit in-between nap times - winning) for the mighty franchise and for many like my son, it was their first live show experience due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

And what a first live show experience it was! From the moment the theme song rang out across the arena and leader of the Paw Patrol, Ryder, introduced his pups - all little eyes were excitedly on the action.

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.

The cast of Paw Patrol Live! Race To The Rescue (Paw Patrol Live)
The cast of Paw Patrol Live! Race To The Rescue (Paw Patrol Live)

Then there was the spectacle of Ryder and the pups racing around in their vehicles complete with lights, which quite honestly just looked really cool.

The plot is simple, as you might expect for a show aimed at ages one and up, and plays out like an extended version of the Nickelodeon cartoon.

Mayor Goodway, the bumbling official who is in charge of Adventure Bay where the Paw Patrol live, is due to take part in a race against the dastardly Mayor Humdinger 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.

A real highlight of Paw Patrol Live was seeing Ryder and the pups race around in their vehicles (Paw Patrol Live)
A real highlight of Paw Patrol Live was seeing Ryder and the pups race around in their vehicles (Paw Patrol Live)

The audience are encouraged to join in with helping the pups find and solve clues while booing baddie Humdinger, who tries to foil them at every opportunity rather than concentrate on winning himself.

Despite being injured, Goodway is on hand to keep track of the leader board and lend moral support along with her crew of cheerleading chickens - fabulous and surely, a theatrical first.

By the time the 15-minute interval arrived, my toddler was more than ready for a chance to stretch his legs while we sought out nappy changing facilities - not easy to find and after an unfruitful search, I quickly created a makeshift one using my denim jacket on the toilet floor. Perhaps in future, the producers of this touring show might make absolutely sure that the venue has adequate signage.

I could see my little one beginning to tire around 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.

With Adventure Bay crowned the winners, colourful streamers burst across the arena with cheers of delight from the little ones and some sighs of relief from the parents.

There were even cheerleading chickens! (Paw Patrol Live)
There were even cheerleading chickens! (Paw Patrol Live)

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.

Still, while some parents may have to contend with encouraging their children to share, everyone is offered a free cardboard pompom with maze on the back on entering the arena, so at least all children get something to take home. And there was the beaming smile of my still excited, yet clearly tired son, telling me it was all worth it as we headed back to the tube station, live soundtracked by the Foo Fighters.

pawpatrollive.com