Monster fun for half-term
Dinosaur World, Belgrade, Coventry, to October 28
At the start of this performance we are told by story teller/guide Miranda (Danielle Stagg), that she and her parents live on an island far, far away where dinosaurs still exist. And some of them have been brought over in vast wooden containers all the way from this island known as Dinosaur World. Over the next 50 minutes we meet Juliette a segnosaurus, a large and colourful creature; Orlando, a bird-like dinosaur ,and several others including a giraffatitan and triceratops. As each dinosaur arrives on stage we are told important facts about them. It is not an easy task to engage an audience of children from as young as three, but Miranda/Danielle does an excellent job. Using a clever ploy where a dinosaur egg is placed near the front of the stage the children are asked to shout out if they see it move. It does eventually hatch.
The high point of the show however is when the vast T- Rex takes the stage and growls at the audience. "Meeting T- Rex was my favourite bit,"said seven-year-old Emily, and this appeared to be the highlight for most of the children - and the adults.
The dinosaurs are astonishing and are brilliantly manoeuvred by a small team of puppetry performers. However some children became disengaged when it became obvious that although asked to put their hands up if they wanted to go on the stage to meet the dinosaurs they were far too far away to be selected. At the end of the performance the audience was invited to meet with the dinosaurs by coming up to the stage or in the foyer. This went someway to address this issue.
All-in-all, a good family show - and how often can you get to meet a T-Rex!