Freetime sits down with Scott Faris, the director of Walking With Dinosaurs to chat about the show’s success.

Harrow Times: Walking with dinosaurs Walking with dinosaurs

Walking with Dinosaurs is the multi-award winning show with a cast of pre-historic giants.

A huge hit with families, this production is based on the BAFTA award-winning BBC television series.

It merges scientific accuracy, high-tech animatronic puppetry, and almost cinematic realism to help children appreciate these colossal creatures in a way no museum can match.

Freetime sits down with Scott Faris, the director to chat about the show’s success.

How do you account for the success of Walking with Dinosaurs? Why has it captivated audiences?

"It’s huge in scale and scope and we take the audience on a journey. We go back in time and show them how the dinosaurs might have actually looked in their prime – huge, sometimes frightening, sometimes comical monsters – that fought for survival every day of their lives.

"Our dinosaurs move exactly as if they are real – with all the roars, snorts and excitement that go with it. It is mind-blowing."

What is Walking with Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular about?

"The 90-minute show features ten different species and 20 life-sized dinosaurs from across their 200 million year domination of life on earth. It tells the story of their emergence and evolution, complete with all the climatic and tectonic changes that took place and takes the audience through the Triassic to the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods introducing them to a range of pre-historic giants along the way.

"Oceans form, volcanoes erupt, a forest catches fire – all leading to the massive comet, which struck the earth, and led to their extinction."

Who is the show aimed at?

"The show is suitable for anyone aged three to 93. It’s ideal for all the family and is loved by parents and kids everywhere. It’s thrilling, it’s astounding and it’s educational."

When and where was it first performed?

"The show originated in Australia and debuted at Sydney’s Allphones Arena in 2007. Since then, in under five years we’ve performed it 1,746 times in 206 cities across the world, and played to an astonishing 7.3 million people."

When were you last in the UK?

"In the summer of 2009. We played to 500,000 people across eight cities."

Who had the idea for the original show?

"The late William May, artistic director, developed the creative vision based on an original idea by entrepreneur Bruce Mactaggart to produce an arena version of the BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs TV series.

"May is best known for co-producing shows with Malcolm Cooke for the past 30 years, including The Hobbit and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe."

Why did you want to come back to the UK?

"It will mean that all those children who were too young to see it the first time around will no longer feel like they’ve missed out. They’ll be able to learn about these fascinating creatures up close and really appreciate their unique size, might and strength."

Walking With Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular, until May 6, at Wembley Arena, Arena Square, Engineers Way. Details: 020 8782 5500 wembleyarena.co.uk

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