Inverness is bracing itself for an invasion of monsters … and we don’t mean Nessie.
Not that Derek Bond, the writer and direct of Dinosaur World Live, is averse to the idea of the Loch Ness Monster checking out his show when it arrives at Eden Court next week.
“That would be fantastic,” he said, laughing at the suggestion. “Maybe that should be the next show – we can do something live on Loch Ness with our own Loch Ness Monster.”
But Derek and his team have enough creatures to be getting on with, as they bring a roll call dinos – from T-Rexes to triceratops – to stunning life through the magic of puppetry in five Inverness shows from Tuesday August 1 to Thursday August 3.
Dinosaur World Live brings you face-to-face with amazing creatures
“It’s a really exciting, interactive show where audiences can come along and see these amazing realistic puppets of dinosaurs. There are dinosaurs you have heard of, like the T-Rex, but there are dinosaurs you might not have heard of, like the microraptor or the segnosaurus,” he said.
“But also we get volunteer children from the audience to come and help our host, Miranda, to manage some of the creatures because they don’t always behave the way Miranda would like them to and she often needs help.”
Derek said the amazingly realistic dinosaurs are brought to life but a talented team of puppeteers, some of whom have experience in working on West End shows like War Horse. The end result is quite spectacular.
“Our brilliant puppetry director, Laura Cubitt, has worked with our team of expert puppeteers to get the movement just right so when you are watching, you really believe these are living, breathing creatures. It’s incredible to see.
“For example our T-Rex – Titus – is four and a half meters long and it takes four people to operate it. Brutus, our triceratops, is the size of a family car.”
Reaction when kids meet realistic dinosaurs is ‘quite incredible’
Dinosaur World Live is more than just a parade of amazing creatures. There is a story, too, of Miranda the girl who, along with her palaeontologist parents, was shipwrecked on an island off the coast of Argentina that was home to living dinosaurs.
“She grew up amongst these dinosaurs and they are her family, sort of. So she’s brought her dinosaur friends to meet the people of Inverness.”
During the family-friendly show, suitable for children aged three and up, kids are invited on stage to interact with the amazing creatures. Derek said the reaction from youngsters is a delight to see.
“When they come on stage to meet the dinosaurs face to face it is quite incredible. They ignore the puppeteers and just see the puppets and make eye contact with them. There are gasps when the dinosaurs first come on, because people can’t believe they are in the same space as what feels like a real dinosaur.”
Derek said the show is a blend of entertainment and education, with audiences coming away learning fascinating facts about dinosaurs.
Chance to see Dinosaur World Live in Inverness before it tours the world
And Dinosaur World Live is, in itself, a monster hit, having toured the US twice, about to head back for a tour of all of North America then on to China and Australia. And after Eden Court, the show is starting a summer run in London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
“It’s going to be absolutely everywhere, all around the world, and you will get to see it in Inverness before it becomes internationally famous.”
Dinosaur World Live is at Eden Court in Inverness from August 1 to 3. For information and tickets visit eden-court.co.uk or call 01463 234 234.