Newest Review: ... be moved to represent the moving of tectonic plates in the Earth's crusts. Around the stage entrance there are huge dinosaur teeth as th... more
Blown away with this Journey Through Time.
Walking With Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular
Member Name: cha97mw
Walking With Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular
Advantages: visually and auditorally this was stunning. Totally breathtaking.
Disadvantages: cost to see it. Frankly ridiculous.
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.
Summary: A once in a lifetime experience.