Review: Dinosaur World Live at Northern Stage

Review: Dinosaur World Live at Northern Stage

Dinosaur World Live – Northern Stage

23rd June 2023

Back at Northern Stage today for a kids show and I have to say that I was thoroughly enchanted by it despite being way out of my comfort zone amongst a full house of very excited children and their exasperated parents. The stage is set with very little apart from two banners declaring that the audience in now entering Dinosaur World with suitably appropriate music hinting at Jurassic Park without falling foul of any copyright lawyers. 

We are introduced at the start of the show to Miranda (Selin Balcioğlu) who captivates the young guests in particular from the very outset. She is the game keeper of Dinosaur World and she imparts all of her knowledge about the animals in her charge while maintaining an air of youth, vitality, and an innocence of indeterminate age. She also has a very large egg which she carefully places on a plinth and encourages the audience to shout out if anything happens to it. This is a pantomime routine 65 million years in the making but it certainly focuses the younger members of the audience’s attention. 

We are then introduced to the stars of the show, the dinosaurs. We meet Julie, Orlando, Bea, Brutus, Tamora, Titus and Gertrude throughout the show. I am not going to tell you which breeds of Prehistoric beasts they are as that would spoil the show for those who have not seen it. 

The dinosaurs are described as puppets in the programme which of course they are but that is only half of it. Puppet Designer, Max Humphries has done an amazing job in bringing these magnificent beasts to the stage in quite a dramatic but in some cases a soft and fluffy manner that is really beautiful. Praise also has to the team of wranglers, Rhea Locker-Marsh, Sharone Sze, William Uden, Nicholas Halliwell and Ross Lennon who manoeuvre these magnificent creations with a skill that allows them to perform without being overtly present. It is a very skilful performance from all of them. 

The writer and director, Derek Bond, has devised a credible storyline which is both engaging and keeps the smaller kids thoroughly entertained throughout the performance which is no mean feat in the TikTok generation. There is also a rather delightful meet and greet with one of the smaller puppets that the children can enjoy while their adoring parents can take photos as a keepsake of the event. In fact, photography is encouraged throughout the performance as long as @dinolandlive is tagged in.

If you have a little one who loves their dinosaurs then this show is absolutely perfect – there is a very suitable blend of education, fun and a sense of danger which works very well indeed. I would say there was something for everyone in this delightful show, even this old reviewer and I recommend you get along to Northern Stage to see it before the wonderful beasts move on to pastures new. I also suggest you get a ‘postergram’ too which has all sorts of facts, games, and a blooming huge poster to put on your little one’s bedroom wall to remind them of a thoroughly enjoyable trip to the theatre. 

Dinosaur World Live is on at Northern Stage until 25th June. 

– Stephen Stokoe

Photos Robert Gray

Discover more from Home

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading