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REVIEW: Walking With Dinosaurs O2

PUBLISHED: 18:06 06 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:40 05 October 2010

THERE is spectacular, and then there s spectacular. And this was spectacular. After several years of planning, and at a cost of £10 million to develop, with a cast of 65, this was a gargantuan show in every sense for which the 02 was the perfect setting

THERE is spectacular, and then there's spectacular. And this was spectacular.

After several years of planning, and at a cost of £10 million to develop, with a "cast" of 65, this was a gargantuan show in every sense for which the 02 was the perfect setting.

Cynics might argue that this was not the first time prehistoric relics had appeared at the venue, but there was certainly more life in these animatronic monsters than in many a hoary old rocker.

Speaking as somebody with a longstanding obsession with dinosaurs dating back to my formative years, this was something of a dream come true I have to say. Unless Jurassic Park becomes a reality, this is probably the closest I'll ever get to a real Tyrannosaurus Rex and I have to say it made for an impressive spectacle.

Towering 23 feet about the audience it lit up the massive arena with its bloodcurdling screams.

With paleontologist Huxley (Jonathan Bliss) as our guide, we were taken on a 200 million year journey from the dawn of the Jurassic to the dying days of the Cretaceous, and introduced to a total of 15 fearsome beasts along the way.

There wasn't a lot in the way of plot but then there didn't need to be. Apart from the T-Rex, other highlights included a 36 foot fall brachiosaurus, a plated stegosaurus, plus a troop of raptors. All were intricately designed and featured lifelike, moving faces which certainly brought them to life.

If there's a minor criticism it would be for the necessity to have large ungainly looking pieces of wood under the larger dinosaurs for support, but this was presumably inevitable from a mechanical point of view. And just like the TV series on which it was based, the show played it fast and loose with the truth - how do we know raptors could talk to each other for example?

These are mere quibbles however and the tens of thousands of enthralled youngsters in the audience didn't seem to notice or care anyway.

As I left the auditorium after a thoroughly absorbing two hours, it occurred to me that the Millennium Dome might have been a great deal more entertaining if Tony Blair had been able to call on these characters to liven the place up a bit...

Ciaran McGrath

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