13:08 Friday 17 May 2013

Everybody walk the dinosaurs


Walking With Dinosaurs
The Arena Spectacular
Nottingham Capital FM Arena

Walking with Dino
Walking with Dino

WHEN something has a £10 million price tag, it's only fair to assume it's going to be pretty special.

And the Walking With Dinosaurs Arena Tour is nothing if not VERY special.

The WWD arena tour is a dazzling spectacle which brings to life the BBC TV show of the same name.

Designers have collaborated with scientists to create 15 lifesize dinosaurs which literally transport you back 65 million years.

Always a fascinating subject, dinosaurs were never on my school curriculum. All I knew about them is either what I've gleaned from Jurassic Park (very entertaining, but not entirely accurate!) or from my son Harry (far more in depth and very accurate).

At Nottingham we were treated to the history lesson of a lifetime.

Our teacher for the night was Huxley the Palaeontologist, who explained the background to the periods - Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous, and the evolution of the world as we know it. The anticipation was tangible.

Eggs on the rocks in the centre of the arena began to hatch and tiny Plateosaurus babies broke through the shells.

The curtain opened, and our first glimpse of dinosaur was a Liliensternus.

With an incredible agility and accuracy, it plucked one of the hatching creatures, but not before having a set-to with the mother Plateosaurus.

The wow factor is present throughout.

We - me and my 15-year-old  son - had seen this spectacle once before. Four years on it was no less spectacular and thrilled us both in equal measure.

In total, 15 dinosaurs are part of the performance as the audience travels with the palaeontologist  through the Triassic Period  to the Jurassic period - Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus - and finally the Cretaceous period - Utahraptor, Ankylosaurus and Torosaurus.

The creatures are sensational. We take for granted what computer generated images allow us to see on TV and in films. But this is live, and you still believe these dinosaurs are real.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex - mum and baby - are a fitting end to the show, and create an amazing sight, roaring over the heads of the crowd in the lower seats.

The true stars in this show, however, have to be the people who have designed and created these incredible creatures - the engineers, the painters, the skin makers, and the animatronic experts who have brought the past to life.

There are just a few dates left on this tour, but if you can make it to just one show this year, make it this one. Absolutely amazing.

Walking With Dinosaurs is at Liverpool Echo Arena for its final dates from Wednesday (May 22) to Sunday (May 26). Tickets are priced from £25 to £45. Further details are available online at www.dinosaurlive.com

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