Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Walking With Dinosaurs - Live!

A brief review of this then. For the last two years WWD has been touring Australia firstly, and then the USA last year and the show has arrived here for 2009. The first thing to mention is that, as you can imagine, the show is aimed at a younger audience but if, like me, there's still a little boy in you and you love dinosaurs, then you will enjoy this.

We saw the event at the O2, an ideal venue since there are no barriers or structures in the way - everyone gets a good view. The general synopsis is that a paleontologist named Huxley (not THE Huxley by the way) is your guide from the very beginning of the dinosaurian era during the Triassic through to their extinction at the end of the Cretaceous. The stage set is cleverly conceived with images projected onto a massive curtain at the back of the stage in conjunction with some ultra-clever plant and tree designs that pop up on cue and collapse equally quick when required. This was a really clever piece of technology and choreography backed by a rich and sumptuous soundtrack.

The dinosaurs themselves are a marvel of technology. When they first appear and you look at them walking with the aid of supports and platforms you are, at first a little disappointed. However, this is short lived and as you get into the show, more and more, the platforms become less obvious. The one thing that everyone should get out of this show is how big these animals truly were. You don't realise, at first, just how big, but then you see Huxley wandering amongst them and they are BIG.

Everyone has their favourites and naturally enough Tyrannosaurus was the star of the show although I liked Stegosaurus and both of the brachiosaurs. Some of the smaller theropods such as a pack of Utahraptor and a juvenile Tyrannosaurus are actually powered by men but it is done in such a clever way that it is hard to believe sometimes and the animal-tronics really make it work.

The only criticism I would have is that the merchandise was heavily overpriced. A programme would set you back 12 pounds and parents were rapidly emptying their pockets to give their kids a souvenir or two. I'm not expecting merchandise to be cheap but I would expect the prices to be more realistic especially when parents would have forked out up to £35 a ticket to see the show in the first place. You do the math.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed the show and aside from my usual criticism of anything like this ie. portraying speculation as fact, I would recommend the show. WWD can be seen shortly in Birmingham, then Liverpool before finishing at the Wembley Arena. Go and see it while you can.

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