At the weekend I travelled to London to see the Walking with Dinosaurs Arena Show. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I love dinosaurs (I mean, who doesn’t right?) so I was looking forward to it and I have to say it was amazing! The show was split up into two 45 minute halves with a short intermission. Given the time constraints it didn’t go particularly in-depth, it’s main objective was to give a brief overview of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods up to when (spoiler alert) the dinosaurs became extinct.
A paleontologist was on hand to present the show and he was a dynamic presence, sprinting across the stage and interacting with the dinosaurs. His enthusiastic narration provided interesting facts and a few jokes which made me chuckle. However, the main attraction of the show was of course the dinosaurs, and they were impressive to say the least.
On a personal note I was disappointed that the Triceratops didn’t make an appearance, but they had a good selection of dinosaurs on display including Brachiosaurus, Allosaurus, Utah Raptor, Ankylosaurus, Stegosaurus, Torosaurus and the mighty T-Rex. The dinosaurs were huge and incredibly detailed; their hides were wrinkled and flecked with different patterns. I want to say they were lifelike but (to my disappointment) I’ve never seen a real dinosaur so I can’t really compare, but they’re an exact depiction of how I imagine dinosaurs would look. The movements appeared natural, although I think there were some limitations because the dinosaurs were rather ponderous (which wasn’t too jarring, except when the presenter noted the Allosaurus’ impressive speed). The stage had movable props which represented the passage of time – Pangaea separated into different landmasses, flowers sprouted and trees rose. We were treated to a few confrontations between herbivores and carnivores, and a battle between two Torosauruses, which resulted in the elder one having one of his horns snapped – sad times.
The lighting and sound effects added some atmosphere. The lighting was particularly impressive, especially the effect when the comic hit. I was surprised actually because it was quite intense, especially since there were number of young children in the crowd. Still, it provided some dramatic flair and the main musical theme was reminiscent of the theme from Jurassic Park. The climax of the show and the main highlight was the T-Rex. It was accompanied by a baby T-Rex whose roar was bit like young Simba’s in The Lion King. The adult T-Rex’s thundering roar was spine-chilling.
Overall it was a great show. My one complaint is that there should have been more dinosaurs because there were parts where they were just walking around and just seemed to be taking up time. But that wasn’t a major issue. It was a great show, partly educational, very entertaining and did the models of the dinosaurs were imbued with a majesty and grace that did the great creatures justice. And now I really want to watch Jurassic Park, or time travel back to dino-times. Watching Jurassic Park is probably safer though.
– Man of Yesterday