Jurassic Live: Interactive dinosaur show makes a change from panto! – Hayley Matthews

I feel I'm going to sound like something from Dreamgirls, the 1981 Broadway musical associated with all things theatrical. You know, the one with the song “One Night Only”.
Dinosaurs, thankfully, no longer exist (Picture: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)Dinosaurs, thankfully, no longer exist (Picture: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Dinosaurs, thankfully, no longer exist (Picture: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Anyway, for one night only (well an afternoon and an evening) the dinos are going to be up the town at The Playhouse – and it's all I've heard about since my youngest has realised it’s happening. He doesn't ask for much. However, he has been asking about this show ever since he saw an advert pop up on my social media.

The ad had a massive picture of a dinosaur with the words "Jurassic Live". Looking very pleased, he asked me what it was. So after I told him about the performance, the special effects, professional puppeteers and realistic dinosaurs, we decided that it would be incredibly fun to go along.

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How wonderful that we’re back to a point when shows and performances are back in full swing. It's a bit different than starting off the month of December with a panto, but hey, who says dinosaurs can't be festive too?

So as a friend of mine also has a dinosaur-obsessed four-year-old, we decided to take the diplodocus by the horns (actually don't know if they had horns but I'm sure I'll find out) and we booked for show on December 8. With a performance at 12pm and one at 5pm, it means we're not taking the little ones out too late because yes, we're still aiming to go in to nursery the next day to tell the teachers all about it.

How wonderful that we've been able to move on from masks and social distancing (I don't think dinos would look very good in a mask anyways) but to have the theatres all open again for all to enjoy, especially the kids, is to be truly cherished. They've missed so much over the last few years that supporting our local theatre to see an award-winning show is a great way to start December.

We've not taken the little one to see anything so interactive before. The last interactive show we saw was with our eldest when he was four. We took him to see Pepa Pig and surprisingly it went down well considering he was terrified of the British Heart Foundation love-heart mascot (the giant character, the one that would occasionally be standing outside Boots asking for donations). To be fair it didn't have a face, just a foam heart with arms so no wonder he was a bit scared of it.

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But back to the dinos, the story follows a variety of species so it's educational for the kids too. Our son has no idea that the UK's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex and the UK'S most realistic Triceratops and Velociraptor will be there, along with a flying Pterodactyl too – see, I know my dino stuff!

If you're planning on going along, the last I checked there still seemed to be good availability. Our ten-year-old wants to come along too so I'm taking that as a sign he's over his fear of large, moving characters. I think I'll be the one screaming like a little girl as I'm a bit scared at the thought of seeing a life-size T-rex. Ah, the things we do for our kids, eh?

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