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Theatre Review: Dinosaur World

14 October 17 words: Ian Kingsbury

The dino loving nippers were in awe

T-Rex at Dinosaur World

Titus the T-Rex at Dinosaur World

Our 3 year old daughter eagerly anticipated this family-friendly dinosaur show and it didn’t disappoint. We’ve seen a lot of puppetry in the theatre – including a super show at Beatrix Potter World - so the bar was set high. But this production was so well conceived and executed that it might just be the best one yet.

We found ourselves on the lost island of Mundo De Los Lagartos Terribles, a land of giant lizards, rumoured to be inhabited by dinosaurs who’d escaped mass extinction at the end of the cretaceous period. Our guide on this joyous journey was Miranda, whose effervescence and boundless energy put Disney’s Tigger to shame. Miranda took us on a tour of Dinosaur Island (to you and me) where the various thunder lizards – of all shapes and sizes – were expertly brought to life by a team of puppeteers. They managed to invest their puppets with such natural movement and character that, after a while, you simply stopped noticing them operating the cretaceous critters, instead suspending that all-important disbelief to enjoy them as living, breathing beasts.

Miranda is a lively and informative guide (there’re loads of dino facts smuggled into an otherwise playfully silly script) and the ongoing saga of the egg on the brink of hatching brought a nice touch of Panto to proceedings which elicited much excitement and decibel-age from the young audience. With each new dinosaur, eager volunteers were invited on to the stage to pet, brush, walk and feed them, a nice interactive element that has no doubt made for some cherished lifelong memories.

Foreboding bass notes, dimmed lights and a crackle of excitement across the auditorium signalled the show’s nail biting denouement – we were about to meet Titus, the full grown T-Rex. Twice as tall and twice as long as an elephant, he made his breath-taking entrance. Mostly the young audience were either excited or awe-struck – perhaps one or two found it all a bit much – but we loved it. If you have children between 3 and Primary School age, catch it if you can.

Dinosaur World plays at Nottingham's Theatre Royal until Sunday 15 October.

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