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Stage Editorial

dinoworldd17.jpg My! What big everything you have…

Brace yourself! Dinosaur World is coming to Northern Stage in early June.

Young folk today don’t know how easy they’ve got it – when I were a lass you might be as old as 9 or 10 before you encountered your first gigantic (by which I mean small plastic) prehistoric reptile, but kids nowadays are practically raised with dinosaurs in their cradles! No, really – I can still recall the thrill of finally getting that little greenish Diplodocus (the name helpfully moulded into its belly) which completed my set. I remember too seeing every stop-motion dinosaur movie (even the one where Raquel Welch wore a fetching fur bikini and defied chronology by being carried off by a Pteranodon about 65million years too late). Then the CGI technology of Jurassic Park and the actual paleontological input of Walking with Dinosaurs made it all ultra-real – but by that time the dinosaur had been thoroughly re-invented as an essential part of every child’s imagination, the monster you could believe in.

And now Newcastle welcomes them live onto the stage, with a view to family entertainment and really hands-on encounters. That’s right – book one of the front row “danger seats” and you may find yourself grooming a Giraffatitan, not to mention being on first-name terms. (I’ve always thought “Juliette” was a nice name for a great scaly beast…) Dinosaur World offers a theatrical spectacle designed to engage a young audience with their favourite creatures via a simple story and an imaginative use of lighting and sound, utilising the stage technology that Northern Stage is so good at. But I hope they’ve reinforced the floor because there really are actual physical true-to-life dinosaurs practically in your lap (aided just a little by the odd human operator, perhaps). Potential scariness can be safely enjoyed in a friendly, fact-filled, interactive adventure complete, of course, with every child’s dream pet, the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Dinosaur World, Thursday 1 June-Saturday 3 June, Northern Stage, Newcastle, 2pm (and 11am Fri & Sat), £13.50/£16. northernstage.co.uk