Dinosaur World Live at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Young explorers and dinosaur lovers gathered last night at the beautiful Regent’s Park to meet a range of life-like dinosaurs at the interactive show Dinosaur World Live. The open-air theatre was the perfect place for families to assemble as the small performance area is well suited to a participatory play of this nature. The limited number of seats forming a semi-circle in front of the stage allowed everyone a good place to see the show and to be seen by Miranda, the narrator and carer of the prehistoric beasts, who would select a few children from the audience to aid her in her seemingly difficult job.
Miranda (Elizabeth Mary Williams) introduced some interesting facts along with a good range of dinosaurs to the excited young theatre-goers: from a baby Triceratops to a Segnosaurus, a Giraffatitan egg that hatches during the show and the star of the show – who appears through a cloud of smoke and theatrical sounds – the iconic Tyrannosaurus Rex.
This show pivots upon the excellence of puppet designer Max Humphries, who demonstrates an impressive skill with the making of the dinosaurs – from the small to the absolutely enormous – that were brought to life with the puppeteers’ gentle movements, gestures and mimicry of sounds.
Besides this, however, the production is a let down in terms of its storyline and comical capacity. Children and adults talked throughout the show – not just in response to the prompts of Miranda, whose jokes were not received at all by the younger audience members. Though the set design was highly predictable, it did not fit in at all with the storyline. The interactions between human and beast were played out as if between a household pet and their owner, and such lack of imagination left many young ones evidently bored – not full of energy and excitement as one would expect from an interactive play in the middle of one of London’s biggest and most popular parks.
Writer and director Derek Bond and sound designer Tom Mann joined the producer Nicoll Entertainment to deliver an average show that had the potential to exceed expectations and indeed imaginations were the narrative not akin to “Who’s a naughty little doggy?” story and were the sound effects to be maintained throughout to piece, not merely with the arrival of the T-Rex as it echoed over Miranda’s inaudible words.
Photo: Robert Day
Dinosaur World Live is at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre from 14th August until 9th September 2018. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.