The Wiggles in Dubai

Australia’s top-selling entertainers came to The Palladium

Crowded merchandising stands, ageing international megastars, a lot of middle-aged dancing and a shrieking audience.

The Palladium staged what could be considered a typical Dubai gig this weekend.

But for the packed audience of parents and toddlers The Wiggles was anything but a typical show.

Captain Feathersword, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Wags the Dog and, of course, The Wiggles themselves went through a repertoire that was instantly familiar to the hundreds of pre-schoolers in the audience. A few baffled looking parents aside and the smallest handful of crying kids sang along to almost every number as Australia’s top-earning musical act played all of their hits and more. The Wiggles, if you are not familiar with their work, are a children’s entertainment group famed for their wholesome, energetic and, occasionally, educational music.

But this is no ordinary children’s entertainment group. With a back catalogue that includes a reported 17 gold, 12 platinum, three double platinum and 10 multi-platinum albums they are nothing short of a phenomenon.

Pleasingly there was a merit here beyond merchandising opportunities.

Anybody can sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (well, almost) but to make more than a rumoured AU$45million a year doing it you have to be a little bit special.

Not even the most cynical of hearts could have begrudged Anthony, Jeff, Sam and (standing-in for a missing Wiggle) Ben their fame and fortune.

As any of the parents in the crowded theatre would testify entertaining one child is difficult. So keeping an entire auditorium enthralled for almost two hours is nothing short of miraculous.

So how do you do it? Well a combination of opera, ballet, slapstick, pop and good old fashioned Wigglydancers seems to be a good start.

Throw in some knowing banter for the adults, surprisingly catchy songwriting (Fruit Salad Yummy Yummy being the stand out hit of the day) and an acrobatic stage production and it is clear that this is a production that knows its audience.

This is a concert, in other words, that will stop everything half way through a song to help a little girl find her mummy.

Did you see the Wiggles? What did you think of the live show? Will your children want more Wiggles merchandise after seeing the show?

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