The wait is finally over! Dinosaurs will once again roam our Singapore soil and share their story from the Triassic Period. WALKING WITH DINOSAURS – THE LIVE EXPERIENCE returns to Singapore after 10 long years! This amazing theatrical production and arena spectacular is brought to you by BBC Earth in association with BBC Studios. It features 18 life-sized dinosaurs from nine species that look and sound like the real prehistoric creatures from 65 million years ago!!
At a media preview earlier, we had the opportunity to meet Baby T-Rex, who like any infant, was curious, energetic and vigorous. The baby calls it made sounded so real, you almost expect Mama T-Rex to appear behind the curtains. Thankfully, Mama T-Rex was resting and we will meet her at the arena when we go watch Walking with Dinosaurs on opening night (29 August).
To be so close to a prehistoric creature like this and NOT have my head bitten off is a dream come true. I can now check this off my bucket list. Look at how small my head is next to Baby T-Rex’s!!
What is it like working with these dynamic creatures?
Resident Director, Ian Waller and Master Puppeteer Neil Holmes share with us their experiences working with these prehistoric marvels.
Is this a musical production?
This is not a musical, but the music enhances the show. Every animal that comes on, there’s a specific music that accompanies it throughout the whole show. There are only two points on the show where the actor speaks on his own; when there’s no music at all. For example, each dinosaur that comes on has its own music. The music helps set the scene for the dinosaurs’ actions.
What are the logistics of transporting the dinosaurs?
The logistics of bringing the show here and get it running is a massive feat. We have 27 trucks and trailers. Every dinosaur has its own trailer. There may be up to 30 shipping containers. And we have 12 drivers who will drive back and forth to transport the dinosaurs from port to destinations and vice versa. Then there’s the transportation of the performers and staff to each performing destination as well as the accommodations and performing arena.
How do you choose the species of dinosaurs to represent in the show?
This all happen at the very beginning of the show with Tim Haines. You want to educate the audience and you also them to see dinosaurs they knew. Everyone wants to see T-Rex, so that was a no-brainer. Everyone knows Stegosaurus and Brontosaurus, Triceratops or Pterosaurs. At the same time, because a lot of TV and film used to always feature a Stegosaurus fighting a T-Rex, but these two dinosaurs are from two different eras, like 60 million years apart. So, the guys who worked on the show earlier had to work that into a network of story and it was a process they came up with these nine species.
What are the updates to Walking with Dinosaurs 2019?
It’s basically the same show but we have updated the script and added feathers to some of our dinosaurs as indicated in the recent research. We want to get our facts right as much as we can.
We also have a brand new lighting rig in line with the advancement of technology in lighting. Our sound system is smaller but louder. We have 150-meter square LED screens which we never had before, which enhances the graphics of the show.
Any advice for parents to prepare their kids for the show?
The show itself is educational. Everyone will learn something from the show, even the cynical dads. They learn about what happened in the Triassic period, and what happened in the Jurassic period. There’s no blood and guts, but we do show the whole gamut of dinosaurs been eaten, but its not overly scary. The most scary thing is because it’s loud; the dinosaurs, they do roar. But kids love dinosaurs. They will get over the loudness and be fascinated by the next specie that walks in.
NSome parents like to get their kids out there and show them the dinosaurs. Some forget and hold their kids up to the dinosaurs. We try not to avoid traumatize the kids. Sometimes the parents don’t know how to react and will run away with the kids. It’s a completely mixed reaction.
Neil, as a performer, how do you simulate the dinosaur behaviors and make it so life-like?
The dinosaur costume weighs from 30 to 40 kilos. In the beginning when I first started doing this job, it’s really a little bit stressful and taxing. Then over time you know with lots and lots of practice, like anything, it gets
little bit more better. You are juggling a lot on stage. Your motor skills get better and you practice a lot. You find your passion and you study the videos after each performance and learn how to make the performance of each character better. For example, Baby T-Rex is mischievous, wants to get involved and gets into trouble. The trick is to not allow any moments of stillness. But because the puppetry of the suit amplifies what you are doing, we are mindful less is sometimes more.
We can’t wait to watch Stegosaurus and Allosaurus in a ferocious fight, or take a walk with Brachiosaurus as they graciously roam around. Don’t wait another 65 million years, come see them up close and personal TODAY.
WALKING WITH DINOSAURS – THE LIVE EXPERIENCE opens on 29 August till 8 September at the Singapore Indoor Stadium (how to get there).
The show is about 1 hour 40 minutes long (including 20 mins interval).
Ticket Pricing: $78 to $148 (Click HERE for discounts – tickets are priced from $58 to $88.)