THERE’S nothing quite like seeing two gigantic 30-foot Torosaurus fight to the death right before your very eyes.
Or feeling the ground shake at the massive roar of a fully-grown six-tonne T Rex on the rampage.
This isn’t Jurassic Park – that’s just a film – this is Walking with Dinosaurs, The Arena Spectacular.
The show, spawned by the BBC series of the same name, has been touring the world’s biggest venues since 2007. It’s now back in the UK and bigger than ever.
And after last weekend’s Sheffield dates it’s moving on to Manchester Arena for shows this weekend (April 5-7 – tickets still available) before taking in Birmingham, Newcastle and beyond.
Expect to see dinosaurs walking, chasing, fighting, flying, and yes, pooping, in one of the most awesome displays of puppetry and robotics in pre-history.
The creatures have been painstakingly recreated with incredible detail – blinking eyes, steaming nostrils and incredibly fluid movements – to a totally convincing level of realism. And you get to meet them in time order as the Triassic period gives way to the Jurassic, to the Cretaceous, with changes in vegetation, landscape and weather all cunningly suggested by audio visual trickery.
We saw dinosaur eggs hatching, raptors feasting on a carcass, duelling horned giants and the flight of 40-foot wingspan Ornithocheirus in two hours of gripping entertainment narrated by ‘the Paleontologist’ an actor who skips between the giants and at one point narrowly escapes being eaten.
It might sound grisly, but this is a family event at its finest – the verdict of my nine-year-old son: “Absolutely awesome, dad.”
The star of the show, of course, is T Rex, a stomping, roaring colossus of a puppet, operated by three people that will make you think they really have been breeding these creatures from DNA extracts.
And without spoiling the ending, it comes in the most spectacular fashion as a giant comet hurtles to earth, recreated with sound and light on a grand scale.
Everyone loves dinosaurs and even if you haven’t got an awestruck schoolchild to take, you can’t fail to be impressed by this show.
Just don’t wait another 65 million years, get on to the box office for this weekend - www.dinosaurlive.com or call the national tour hotline on 0844 875 9000.
Walking With Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular is at Manchester Arena, April 5-7.