Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Roll Up for the Dinosaur Circus; Worldwide Hit Show Brings Its Prehistoric Stars to the O2

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Roll Up for the Dinosaur Circus; Worldwide Hit Show Brings Its Prehistoric Stars to the O2

Article excerpt

Byline: Amar Singh

BE afraid, be very afraid. These dinosaurs are setting up home in London.

Frighteningly life-like and weighing in at one and a half tonnes, 15 beasts will be in residence at the O2 for the next five days as part of a show that has become a global phenomenon.

Walking with Dinosaurs, which opens tonight, has captured the imaginations of more than three million people across America, Australia and Britain.

It is on course to become the most popular non-music production in the world this year.

Figures from concert trade magazine Pollstar show that more people saw Walking with Dinosaurs in the first half of the year than gigs featuring Beyonce, Coldplay, Girls Aloud and The Killers.

The live show - based on the hit BBC television series of 1999 - has sold half a million tickets across the UK. In the capital, nearly 200,000 tickets have gone as promoters capitalise on the school summer holidays.

Charlie Presburg, managing director of Pollstar UK, said: "It has been a massive success in the US - they were completely blown away by it. I have no doubt the UK figures will show it to be equally popular and this will probably spark a new era of family-orientated shows.

"Family shows have become more and more common over the last few years - such as Disney on Ice and Barney the Dinosaur - but Walking with Dinosaurs is unique in its appeal to both children and adults."

Walking with Dinosaurs goes to Wembley Arena at the end of this month, and Mr Presburg said few productions could put on runs at both venues in the space of weeks: "Doing both Wembley and the O2 arena in short succession reflects the massive demand to see the show."

The secret of the show's success is the terrifying realism of the dinosaurs. Pictured here behind the scenes, there are 10 different species from the vicious Utahraptor to the giant Brachiosaurus - which is 36ft tall and 56ft from nose to tail.

The main star is a 20ft Tyrannosaurus Rex, which is involved in a battle to protect her baby from a pack of predators.

It takes a team of three to operate each of the larger beasts. …

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