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Marvel Universe LIVE! Super Heroes Assemble at The O2 Arena

| Kids, Theatre | 23/09/2016

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This weekend provides parents with the last chance to take their kids to see Marvel Universe LIVE! Super Heroes Assemble at The O2 Arena.  And, despite the cost, those who trek along to East London for the live action production won’t be disappointed.  

The show keeps up a frenetic pace, with constant stunts serving to entertain young and old, and gloss over lost snippets of dialogue and a complex plot line.  By the end of each performance, the arena’s packed with cosplay-clad children whose little minds have been blown by what they’ve witnessed and that, really, is what it’s all about.  

Ian Cater is the father of two such children who saw the show last week.

Marvel Universe LIVE! has arrived in the UK after a very successful run in the US, with Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada promising: “a whole new Marvel world like nothing British families have ever seen before.”

mul_20140710_1785_1And the show largely lives up to this billing, providing non-stop action and entertainment that – at times – is a little hard to keep pace with.

The plot line’s fairly simple: Evil Loki, Thor’s brother, has kidnapped Storm and Cyclops, using them to generate great powers that will enable him to unleash his Chitauri warriors and control the Earth.  The only way our Marvel Super Heroes can save the day and rescue their friends is to recover ‘fractals’ of the ‘Cosmic Cube’ – spread across the globe – which provide the bearer with even greater powers.  Got it?

And before you can say ‘Cosmic what, now?’, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Falcon, Captain Marvel, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Hulk and Wolverine are off of their quest to recover the fractals before Loki’s allies can get their evil hands/claws/tendrils on them.

mul_20140712_6609_1But the plot’s really a sideshow: the only things you need to concentrate on are the expertly choreographed fight scenes and stunts that inject so much energy to the production.

Although, keeping tabs on all these is no mean feat: if you’re not watching motorbikes loop through the air, you’re gawping at Spider-Man swinging from villain to villain, mutant bad guys blowing up cars and buildings, or one of our high-heeled heroines kicking someone in the chops.  At times it’s so engaging that you totally forget you’ve just spent a tenner on a bag of popcorn and a score on a furry Thor hammer.

As for the kids?  Well, mine (both boys, nearly 4 and nearly 6) turned into hypnotised zombies for the entire show, occasionally murmuring ‘wow’, ‘awesome’ or ‘Black Widow just smashed that guy in the face’ in between mouthfuls of the aforementioned and presumably bejewelled Butterkist.  They’ve talked about little else since.

It’s not a perfect production by any means.  Many of the vocals get lost in the arena (perhaps more annoying for the adults trying to keep up) and most of the ‘explosions’ seem tame compared to those we’re used to seeing on screen (an obvious point, but one which kids can notice).  But then you’re not really there for that.  You’re there to see your sons and daughters utterly mesmerised as they watch their heroes fight bravely, Bruce Banner finally get angry and [SPOLIER ALERT] the good guys ultimately defeat the forces of evil.

To that end, Marvel succeeds and – in all likelihood – cements its place in the hearts of yet another generation.  

Marvel Universe LIVE! Super Heroes Assemble is being performed at The O2 on Friday 23rd (15:00 and 19:00), Saturday 24th (11:00, 15:00 and 19:00) and Sunday 25th September 2016 (12:00 and 16:00).  For tickets and details of the show’s remaining UK dates, head to its official website

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