Rare is the kid – young or old – who does not like dinosaurs. These massive creatures that roamed the Earth millions of years ago have captured our imaginations and attention. Using that popularity, the people from the BBC have created a live show with dinosaurs that has toured around the globe for years now.
Many people on the screen have attempted to give us realistic depictions of dinosaurs. Most have failed. BBC has done them justice. Making realistic looking dinosaurs is quite a tall order and while some are better than others most of the huge dinosaurs they have built look pretty real. Especially when using the eyes of a young person.
Most of the crowd at the Bell Centre on Sunday morning consisted of young people with their parents. In deference to their audience the show is kept rather simple and easy to follow. We are first introduced to Huxley, who is a paleontologist. He is our guide through the world of the dinosaurs. Huxley explains to us all you need to know about the giants from what they eat, the different kinds over the different periods and even an investigation of their poop. It is all rather thorough.
Each dinosaur from the different periods is described and we are given fun facts about them. The dinosaurs appear from eggs, volcanoes, from behind a curtain, and even down from the ceiling. Dinosaurs usually come in pairs or threes and we get to see them move about and interact.
The narration was clear and filled with appropriate emotion. There is never really a drag in the almost two hour (with a 20 minute intermission) show. Information being given had some science to it, but not so much as to confuse younger audience members. Huxley even explained to us about natural selection of plants, flowers, insects, and dinosaurs due to climate change. Plate tectonics is just lightly gone over to set a foundation for the changes on Earth. At the end they left us with the knowledge that though dinosaurs do not exist birds are close relatives of the giants that once roamed the planet.
As for the stage it was rather simple with a curtain at the back that was used to project things onto and for the dinosaurs to make their entrance out of. A trio of rocks/volcanoes were all that were on the floor. At certain points inflatable trees sprung out of the rocks and plants and flowers appeared around the edge. All this was accentuated by a great light show and incredibly clear sound (especially for the Bell Centre). As a word of warning the sound is quite loud and I noticed some young ones with fingers in their ears.
For those who might be further away from the action (though only the red seats were being used at the Bell Centre) there were two large screens on either side of the arena giving those in attendance an up close view of what was going on and allowing the smaller details of the different dinosaurs (feathers, hair, eyes, etc.) to be appreciated.
Of course the stars of the show were the dinosaurs. And they were quite impressive. Though they were large they were able to move around quite precisely and gracefully. The fact that they looked real added to the believability of the show. For all ages I’m sure it was quite cool to see these giants as we had imagined them.