Last weekend we were lucky enough to see Dinosaur Zoo Live at the Theatre Royal in Brighton. I booked our tickets after reading about the show on Mummascribbles. I managed to get tickets in the second row, which we were reliably informed when the show started is actually the ‘buffet’ section! I was a little worried how Monkey would fare with this as although its aimed at children ages 3+ he can be a little sensitive. So I did prepare him a little before hand – which must have worked because at one point when the T-Rex was having a melt down he turned to Hubby and said, ‘its okay daddy there are people in there’ – phew! Anyway back to the show….
Dinosaur Zoo Live was originally born in Australia and has been touring the UK with dates available into next year. The puppetry is amazing, it is truly the only word I can use to describe them. The detail that has gone into each puppet is outstanding and the cast are experts in their field all the way through keeping to character. The show starts sedately introducing three baby dinosaurs including a baby T-Rex.
There is lots of audience participation in the show and at this point the children are invited to go up on stage and meet the babies. Monkey wasn’t sure so remained seated.
Next they moved onto a slightly larger dinosaur whose name escapes me, but they even made noises and calling sounds which sounded really realistic. A child was invited up on stage to feed one of them and help with a conjunctivitis problem! These were my favourite as they were very pretty.
We then got to meet some giant flesh eating dragonflies called Insectasaurs. There were several that flew around the audience landing on unexpected individuals. Monkey wasn’t sure but wanted me to keep putting my hand up so they would land!
Everyone knew what was coming next, in fact the children were all asking to see the T-Rex. Before the big man made an appearance there was another equally fearsome dinosaur who was very hungry. An unexacting parent almost became lunch! From an adult perspective it was very entertaining with a lot of adult humour thrown in. The first time she roared across the stage it made me jump! Up close they look very realistic and you have to remind yourself they are not real. I was so impressed with Monkey. Even more so when the T-Rex came onto the stage and basically jumped into the audience! At one point its head was only about 1ft away from us reaching over the row in front!
The kids had got quite wise to the audience participation by now and sensibly many decided they did not want to go up on stage to visit the T-Rex. I don’t blame them! Although they did manage to convince one child to put his head inside its mouth!! Rather him than me!
To end everything on a quieter note the last dinosaur we saw was the biggest of all a Giganotosaurus which came out of the back of the theatre. You could only see its head and neck but it gave the impression that it took up the whole back of the building. It was all very cleverly done, one little girl was brave enough to offer it flowers since they were herbivores.
At the end of the show you got to line up along the front of the theatre to meet the T-Rex face to face, I was surprised that Monkey now felt brave enough to do this. You can see how close he got below! It was still behaving as it had through the whole show, roaring and sniffing at you all the way along the line! I used the excuse of needing to take photos to get out of it!
Unlike many of the other theatre shows which we have been to, we all came away feeling as though we had been entertained for the full 50 minutes. Its quite an achievement to entertain adults and a three year old at the same time. I would definitely recommend a visit to this show if you have dinosaur mad children. It is also very educational, which at three went a bit over Monkey’s head but for older kids learning about dinosaurs at school it would be a brilliant extra curricular activity.
On the way out we got to meet the babies up close again. They attracted a lot of attention from passers by as well. Monkey wanted to me the baby T-Rex below, you really got the impression that the cast wanted to make it a wonderful experience for the children.
If you want to find out more or book tickets then their tour dates and venues are here. Dates are running up to April 2016. Monkey hasn’t stopped talking about it since.