One of my favourite memories of being a little girl was when my mum and dad would take me and my sister to the Odeon cinema as a treat.
I still vividly remember turning onto Justice Mill Lane, staring up at the latest release posters hung by the front door and smelling a waft of fresh popcorn as I climbed the few steps inside.
Well – it was one of my favourite things until July 1993 should I say, when Jurassic Park exploded onto the silver screen and we snapped up tickets along with the rest of Aberdeen.
Despite its PG rating, the blockbuster absolutely terrified me – from the raptors pursuing petrified kids through the kitchen, to the T-Rex smashing its nose through the glass roof of a car to get to the occupants inside.
Who knew a quivering glass of water could be so scary?
From Jurassic Park to Jurassic Live
Fast forward 30 years (yes, the film is that old!) and, boy, have things changed for younger audiences when it comes to bringing the prehistoric age to life.
From ‘Jurassic Park’ to ‘Jurassic Live’, I took my little boy Ruaridh to P&J Live at the weekend as the West End production came to the Granite City.
Ru is just two-and-a-half and I’m always trying to gauge what he will sit through, attending any show with slight trepidation and always planning an escape route just in case.
However I had nothing to be concerned about on this occasion, with the show pitched at “the whole family, from ages two to 102”.
The wee man sat in incredible silence from beginning to end, throwing in a few ‘wows’, ‘mummy, look!’s, enthusiastic claps and cuttings some shapes during the song and dance numbers.
Jurassic Live has the charm of panto with added dinosaurs
Jurassic Live takes you on a “musical journey” following a team of dino rangers on the hunt for an evil man stealing dinosaurs and their eggs.
The best way I can describe the show is like a panto, but without the Xmas festivities and dinosaurs instead.
There was slapstick comedy, jeers for the villains, colourful musical numbers, some lovely vocal moments from the lead stars, and plenty of audience participation.
I even learned a thing or two – did you know that a triceratops had around 800 teeth?
Kudos also to the mums, dads, grannies and grandads who were forced on stage to dress up as chickens and dance, as bait for the escaped creatures.
The stars of the show are without a doubt the dinosaurs themselves though – giant animatronic puppets some eight metres long and four metres high, who quite literally flew over the heads of the audience during a couple of truly spectacular moments.
The beasts are controlled by hidden puppeteers and are incredibly realistic, with blinking eyes, moving mouths, and fully functioning and moving bodies.
One puppeteer told The P&J that it’s a complete workout bringing one of the creatures to life, taking a lot of focus and core body strength.
The T-Rex puppet in particular is the only one of its kind in Europe, while the show also features the largest marine puppet ever made and the only one of its kind in theatres anywhere in the world.
Jurassic Live can be summed up as captivating, family fun – and a special thanks to all the staff at the arena who couldn’t have been more helpful if they tried and very mindful of the young audience coming through their doors.
As we exited the arena, Ru shouted “dino” to anyone who would listen – while I left feeling a little less traumatised by our prehistoric predecessors.