This production is a real treat for little dinosaur lovers. There is not much of a story to be told here, other than Miranda, played by Danielle Stagg, being washed up on an island where huge shapes move amongst the trees in Dinosaur World. In this amazing dinosaur world, she has befriended various dinosaurs and given each dinosaur a name… hello, Juliette!
The dinosaurs included a Giraffatitan, Triceratops, Segnosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex, who she introduces one by one to the young audience. The dinosaur puppets are scaled appropriately and there were no flaws in these puppets as they were ‘remarkably life-like’, so much so that as they came on stage, you would hear the little voices in the auditorium commenting on real dinosaurs. The vocals of the puppeteers were very life-like too, quite impressive. The puppeteers who manipulated the puppets were hardly noticed as the puppets were so well made.
So all in all, for the children it felt like the dinosaurs were really live on stage. The auditorium was mainly full of very young children, who were lost in the realism of the show. A lucky few were invited up onto the stage to help Miranda carry out certain duties; to feed, stroke or brush the dinosaur.
Miranda engages and interacts with the whole audience in various ways. At one point, the audience are singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to put baby Triceratops to sleep and at other points the audience yell out as the baby dinosaur egg wobbles supposedly getting ready to hatch.
Lights were on throughout the production until the scary T-Rex appeared. It suddenly went dark and there was roaring and my five-year-old leaped out of his seat and jumped onto my lap, and you could hear different parents whispering to their little angels… “it is not real, don’t be scared“. A few moments later and there isn’t any recollection of any fear to be found.
From an educational perspective, the production is quite cool, as there are very interesting snippets of information for the little children to soak up and absorb. Besides learning the names of the different dinosaurs, there was mention of fossils discovered in Mongolia in 1979, how it was discovered that dinosaurs had feathers and how some evolved into birds.
There was an opportunity after the show to meet Miranda, some of the puppeteers and dinosaurs, to ask questions and stroke the dinosaurs. A great show for little dinosaur lovers which is full of great educational facts!
Review by Shaidi Ramsurrun
Grab your compass and join our intrepid explorer across uncharted territories to discover a pre-historic world of astonishing (and remarkably life-like) dinosaurs. Meet a host of impressive creatures including every child’s favourite flesh-eating giant, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, along with a host of other roarsome reptiles such as the Triceratops, Giraffatitan, and Segnosaurus just to name a few! But don’t become too petrified, the show will occasionally involve the audience’s participation throughout the show…
This entertaining and engaging show is sure to delight the whole family, while presenting interesting facts about these incredible creatures from the Mesozoic era. This show is for all the family, ages 3+
Writer/Director – Derek Bond
Puppet Designer – Max Humphries
Puppet Director – Laura Cubitt
Puppetry Consultant – Toby Olié
Set and Costume Designer – James Perkins
Lighting Designer – John Maddox
Danielle Stagg (Miranda), Yana Penrose (Puppeteer/Swing Puppeteer/ Understudy Miranda), Mikey Brett (Puppeteer), Tom Norman (Puppeteer), James Taylor (Puppeteer), Emma Thornett (Puppeteer)
Fri 21 – Sun 23 April, 2017 at Richmond Theatre.