“ Live theatrical show. „
As an Easter treat I decided to buy tickets to the Arena show, Walking with Dinosaurs. The show has just opened for a UK tour in Sheffield, and is about to move to various arenas across the country between now and the end of May.
My children are both rather interested in dinosaurs. They have seen skeletons in the Natural History Museum in London and watching the film Jurassic Park, so I thought they would really enjoy the chance to see the animatronic versions that are featured in this show.
Based upon the BBC show Walking with Dinosaurs, this show provides a stunning visual and audio experience, but also provides an insight into the history of the Jurassic and Crustaceous periods of history in a way that can be appreciated by children and adults alike.
The show has one male actor who acts the role of narrator in the form of a time travelling paleontologist called Huxley. His voice over, alongside the images shown on a large video screen provide the background information you need to appreciate the action being performed by the animatronic dinosaurs.
The set to this show is pretty simple, featuring a series of rocks in the middle of the arena which can be moved to represent the moving of tectonic plates in the Earth's crusts. Around the stage entrance there are huge dinosaur teeth as though the robots are entering through a mouth. As the show progresses, there are inflatable plants around the arena edge which unfold as the story progresses adding a real 'wow' factor when the set is brought to life before your very eyes like watching many years pass by in a matter of seconds.
The show is divided into two acts, covering two different periods in the history of the creatures, with the animals appearing getting larger and more impressive as we go through the herbivores until we reach the carnivores, where we meet animals ranging from the gentle brachiosaurus, a flying pterosaurus, and the piece de resistance, the stunningly terrifying T rex.
From the first sight, the scale of these animals was pretty impressive, but as you watched them moving around the Arena floor, and you could see the realistic movement of the muscles under the skin, and the way that the animals were interacting with each other and Huxley, you forget that you were watching robots and actors wearing costumes, and instead, you feel like you are tranpsorted through time and you really are blown away. Add to that the way the animals are vocalised, and you are moved by the fight for survival in the hostile environment, and how the pack animals work together. There are moments that had the audience fearful, and moments that had all the children laughing.
The show is rather loud at times, and I did find that my younger son found it a bit scary and loud at times. He really did not like the fighting between the dinosaurs and sat with his hands over his ears at this point. My 6 year old however said that the show was really awesome, and he was thrilled to be getting chance to see this. My friends little boy watched this a few days ago, and he was enthusiastically recounting the things that he had seen to me that were strong in his memory.
The show is expensive to produce, so the experience is not particularly cheap. We found a deal through my orange phone deal with Orange Fun Finder where we got the childrens tickets free with our adult tickets, but this was still £80 for a family of four. My friend had paid £56 for two tickets, and had priced it up at nearly £200 for a family of four, which quite frankly is a ridiculous price to pay. The Arena was at least half empty today. It is the first performance I have gone to at Sheffield Arena where we have not had to queue anywhere to get tickets checked or for merchandise or the toilets. It was a bit weird. My friend said it was the same on Friday on opening day. To me this is pretty ridiculous and I think the tickets should be priced more reasonably so the show sells out. It would have made for a better experience if the Arena was full.
Merchandise as always was well over priced with a programme at £12, so we didn't bother buying anything. I saw some of it that someone else was looking through, and it was a glossy book full of photographs, but I think in the current climate, spending so much on a souvenir is not for me.
Photography was allowed in the Arena, but not with flash or with professional cameras with detachable lens, so although we took some photos, the quality was not particularly high. We have something to keep this in our memory however.
All in all, this was a stunning show - it was a once in a lifetime experience to go and see it, and I am glad we did it. I do feel its a shame though that its price will prohibit some families from taking part in the experience
I think this is something that my children will remember for a long time. 4 stars - one knocked off for the price.
I was always attracted to dinosaurs, even as a kid I was always buying dinosaur magazines and books so when I found out that Walking With Dinosaurs live show will be touring Europe, I could not have been happier, well I was even happier when I found out that the show will spot just 30min car drive from my home.
Tickets were a bit expensive coming close to 40Euro (40ish pounds) for a middle "class" ticket but this is not a thing you get to see every day so I can easily say that even if the price was twice that much I would pay it.
The show itself has a great educational as well as entertainment value. You get to know the time in which the dinosaurs walked the earth - divided in 3 periods - jurassic, triassic and cretaceaus with short information and animation on what was happening in each of these eras and with dinosaurs that lived in each era. Runtime of the show is about an hour and a half - I really would not mind if it were longer.
The dinosaurs are very lifelike - models are almost too real, you can see the skin move as it does with live animals as their muscles work, the eyes blink and what is most important the movement of the "animals" is beyond realistic, you do not get the feel that this models are mechanical it all runs so smoothly - might I add that the small child that was sat behind me thought that the dinosaurs were real.
The show is made in a way that dinosaurs interact with each other - battle, eat, communicate and this is just a joy to watch. And as in the TV series there is a person that narrates the story with a pinch of humour and lots of educational facts.
It's easy to say that children did and will enjoy this and get a lot out of this show. It's also easy to say that adults have enjoyed it. It's also easy to say that I have enjoyed it and that honestly I have not seen a show so spectacular in my life and if I get the chance to see it again I will. The feelings you get from this show and the respect to this giants that once walked the Earth are immense.
If you ever get the chance to see this show - go see it!
Back in March whilst looking online for some tickets for a concert I saw there was going to be a walking with dinosaur's arena tour. I have never seen the program and am not a fan based on that, but I love dinosaurs and thought this would be amazing. It was being marketed as, a hands on experience with the creatures that have been extinct for such a long time.
The tickets were £56.00 per adult including taxes and service charges. Although this is pricey we were prepared to pay for it.
We eventually got tickets at Wembley arena rather than the O2 as I found 2nd row centre seats. I was sold and very excited. Wembley is actually more convenient for us too.
I must admit as two adults we didn't mind paying this, especially for seats so close, but children seats were just as expensive and I think this should have been less. Personally I don't think type of thing was really aimed at young children and a few that were seated near us got quite scared and cried, and moaned, sorry but take them out, don't just sit there ruining it for everyone else.
Anyway, in August we went to the event, we got to our seats, were happy with the view and decided it would be great before it had even begun. It started with a man (a palaeontologist) who introduces himself to the audience and explains we'll be going on a journey over the period the dinosaurs were on Earth. We started the furthest away in time, when the Dinosaurs were just evolving themselves.
The models were amazing, and so life like, as we were so close as well we really did get a feel for the size of them and they felt so real, except they weren't eating anyone, which I'm sure real dinosaurs would have.
The whole show was very cleverly done and although the models were all electronic there was very little man power evident, and just the palaeontologist host. We learnt about 9 or 10 different dinosaurs and he explained what they ate, where they came in the period etc. Most the information was available from other sources and both my partner and I had most of the knowledge but the main event was seeing the dinosaurs.
The show lasted about an hour and 45 minutes, with a break mid way through lasting 15-20 minutes.
Where they great? Was it worth it?
This was probably the best show I have ever been too, it was educational and as close to Jurassic Park I'll ever come.
There was one unfortunate disappoint with the show though (apart from the annoying children), which was where we were sat, half way through the first half they inflated some rather large green inflatable's that were demonstrating the greenery and plants of the time period, but they were really quite big and blocked our view, we were already 5 foot off the ground due to the edge of the arena, so we thought we were plenty high enough, but unfortunately we weren't.
I was thoroughly annoyed and so were all of the people around us. We could see most of the dinosaur's heads over the top of them, but that wasn't the point. It completely ruined the experience for me.
At the break half way through the inflatable's went down, I was thankful, if they had stayed up I would have gone and found an attendant and been moved.
However when the show started up again, they inflated them once more, and added more to them, so the whole side of the arena we were sat on was full with inflatable's. It was awful planning on the venue and entertainment companies behalf and I did complain afterwards due to the price of the tickets, if I had known then I would have booked other tickets on the other side of the arena that had a clear view for the entire show.
I think all events should say whether or not tickets have a restricted view or not. These didn't!
Overall the event was good, the dinosaurs were as life like as I could have possibly imaged (except for the sticks they were balanced on) and I even dropped my camera when the T-Rex came over to us and roared. I know it wasn't real but it really did look and sound it.
A total hands on experience with Dinosaurs that not many people get a chance to have. The show is now out of London but touring the world and visiting many countries along the way.
If you want to take a further look the website is: www.dinosaurlive.com