I had just turned eight years old when I climbed into the cinema seat next to my mother. There I spent most of the 2 hours 7 minutes hiding beneath my mother’s cardigan, peeking out, completely terrified and enchanted by these giant lizard creatures on the big screen, cementing an admiration for all things prehistoric. If you hadn’t guessed which film I am talking about by now, it was Jurassic Park. For months after I would carefully open my bedroom door, expecting raptors to be waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs. Talking dinosaurs took over my dreams.
Wasn’t I a proud mum when my very young son became obsessed with dinosaurs at the age of three. His dad happier than I to let him watch Jurassic Park at a young age. I was expecting him to react like I did – but he loved it! I now had an excuse to buy loads of dinosaurs – and believe me, I’m almost certain we have more dinosaurs in our house than were alive at the time! Over the past four years we have obsessively watched most accessible dinosaur documentaries, most notably the BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs series, so you can imagine both of our excitement when we had the opportunity to see these magnificent creatures on stage.
Stupidly, my default arena is Manchester. It is where I go if I want to see a musician/band who is performing the arena scene, so I decided to do the same when Walking with Dinosaurs Arena Spectacular announced their shows. This meant I had to travel, what turned out to be, over five hours there and over four hours back, in one day, all for 1 hour 40 minutes. But it was worth it.
The show was packed full of children of all ages, my son skipping besides me with excitement. The merchandise was extortionate so we opted for a lanyard with laminated information cards for the dinosaurs in the show, which cost us £7 – this was perfect for my son who is consuming facts from dinosaur encyclopedias at the moment. Normally I would have bought the programme, but at £15, I couldn’t justify the expense. There are no words to express the excitement both my son and I felt, but the show was magnificent, exciting, informative, and engaging. It was well choreographed and considered all the members of the audience, making sure that everyone got to enjoy the sheer enormity of the creatures. Michaela Strachan hasn’t aged a day since she hosted The Really Wild Show when I was a kid in the 90s, and was funny, smiley, and simply incredible. With not long left until the show retires, I would encourage any dinosaur fan to go and see the show. The volume of the music and sound effects were acceptable, as we had previously seen smaller dinosaur live productions where the audio was so loud it scared half of the crowd to tears. The loudest sounds come at the end with the T-Rex and the Comet impact.