13-15 March 2015
Reviewed by Phil Nettleton
Direct from the West End, Dinosaur Zoo brings these awesome prehistoric creatures to the stage as you’ve never seen them before!
From cute baby dinos to teeth-gnashing giants, observe and interact with extraordinary life-like dinosaurs in this imaginative and hilarious live show.
But watch out. Not all of these ravenous reptiles are as tame as they seem!
Dinosaur Zoo was at the Birmingham Hippodrome from 13-15 March, an impressive venue inside and easy to get to from New Street train station. They had a good snack selection for the little ones including sandwich boxes (£5) as it was over lunch as well as the usual sweets and drinks on offer.
The cute dinosaurs got lots of aaaahhhs from the children and not to spoil surprise but a couple of big dinosaurs at the end were amazingly realistic and even scared some of the adults! The presenters engaged the kids really well and taught me a few new things about Australian dinosaurs as well as being funny with jokes for the adults and kids alike. It was an informative and interactive show where children were chosen to join the puppets on stage, large and small. This was ideal for our 4 year old girls, and they were thoroughly engrossed in the puppets and the show: they came home telling the family all about it and the facts that they had learnt – even how to approach different animals.
The staging and set were fairly simple, but yet effective and the puppets were made to the highest standard so all the audience (front and back) could see them and their characteristics.
At first I thought a 50 minute show wasn’t that long but it held our girls attention just about right with the use of different puppets. As the show is reliant on the interaction with the audience, with children going on stage the show was seamless without any times that our girls lost interest or could not keep up with the production.
The chance to meet some of the dinosaurs in the foyer after was a good touch letting the children stroke the smaller ones and be chased by some of the more friendly dinosaurs was a fun way to finish.
My only critiques are that I would like to have seen more dinosaurs as part of the production, and that by doing so the show could be longer; therefore offering value for money for families. Also when seeing the dinosaurs close up after the show it was noticeable for the adults that a few of them had been well used and parts were pinned together, not a major gripe but a chance of losing a bit of the magic if the children noticed.
Overall this was a brilliant show, the staging, puppets and puppeteers were brilliant: bringing dinosaurs to life. This is a must see for any little person (over 3) and even for those who would not traditionally be interested in dinosaurs due to it being interactive.
Tickets cost from £12.50 to £15 (transaction fee may apply).
For more information visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com.
Dinosaur Zoo is currently on tour, for more information, tour books or to book tickets visit www.dinosaurzoolive.com.
Birmingham Hippodrome, Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham, B5 4TB | 0844 338 5000