Toby and Teddy are finally at an age where I feel like I can tackle them super comfortably in public on my own and so when we were invited to go and watch Dinosaur World Live I jumped at the opportunity, despite knowing Jamie would be away and I’d be left to take them by myself.
Our local Corn Exchange is a really lovely theatre with lots happening throughout the year. However, they don’t have that much running for kids compared to some theatres though, which is a bit disappointing.
We arrived at the Corn Exchange and went to the reservation desk where I collected our Dinosaur World Live tickets, were told which door to head through and made our way across the lobby. Just outside one of the entrances there was a stand selling merchandise but it was absolutely rammed that you couldn’t even see what was out to buy. This usually happens with most shows!
The boys and I found our seats and we were well into the crowd. There was around 10 minutes left before the show began; the theatre filled up incredibly quickly in those 10 minutes and both of the boys kept asking how long it would be before the show started. There were banners hanging on each side of the stage and there were props which were already laid out upon the stage; a few wooden crates, warning signs and a incubation light on the left hand side. There was also some good lighting and smoke setting the scene before it had begun.
Suddenly, the presenter appeared and she told us a back story of how she, her parents and several other people had ended up on an island where dinosaurs still lived and how they had been studying and caring for them. She was incredibly enthusiastic and had the children engaged from the offset which was really good. I’d say there was quite a range of ages in the room; fairly young children right through to pre-teens (the show is recommended for those aged 3+).
After carrying on the story she asked if we would like to meet any of these dinosaurs and, of course, the children were squealing with anticipation at this point. Over the course of the next 40 minutes there were 6 dinosaurs which came out.
They appeared life sized and were controlled by adults who controlled their every movement and who even made the noises. The focus was away from them because they were dressed in black outfits and the dinosaurs were utterly breathtaking and life like that you wouldn’t have been looking at them anyway. The dinosaurs are wonderfully made puppets, even though they seem so much more than that and a few children were selected to go on stage to be involved with feeding, stroking and even walking a dinosaur.
The show stopping bit has to be the huge T-rex at the end which came out along with more smoke effects, lighting and dramatic sounds. The boys absolutely loved it and their faces were an absolute picture (which I didn’t manage to capture too well in the dim light).
There’s also a running story of a dinosaur egg which is due to hatch, and which does eventually hatch at the end just as the show has finished – this was probably Teddy’s favourite bit as he still talks about the ‘mummy and baby diplodocus’ (even though it wasn’t a diplodocus).
The experience was brilliant with a great run time and it was so good to see the boys really enjoy something. Lots of the information throughout the performance was factual and even had the adults engaged, although I was mostly there to see how much the boys would love it – and they did so love it!
Things I’d Have Changed About Dinosaur World Live
Toby was absolutely devastated to not be in the running to go on stage at all. Being sat relatively far back (row S) we were bound not to be noticed, which is quite hard to explain to a 4 year old, though that didn’t stop him volunteering at every opportunity. I would have liked to have seen a little more variety in the children who were chosen as they tended to be very toward the front and quite a bit older/bigger. I understand that it might take a few more seconds to come down some stairs but it really would have been nice to have some audience inclusion beyond the first 6 or 7 rows, and for more of an age range to be selected too.
The second thing I’d change is the ‘meet and greet’ dinosaur session at the end. I mean, it was complete and utter chaos as you can expect. Having two kids on my own I was not prepared to try and contain two small children in an unmanaged queue the length of the theatre. Had they been a bit older, had an extra pair of hands and the boys weren’t trying to run off in two different directions we might’ve attempted it, but I made a swift exit and the boys were incredibly happy with their big ‘Dinosaur World Live’ stickers.
These two points are small thing in comparison to how much we enjoyed the show and it wouldn’t put me off recommending it to someone, or going to see it again ourselves!
Is Dinosaur World Live coming to a theatre near you?
*We received tickets in return for this review. All views and opinions are my own.