The Colour of Dinosaurs

Rating: ★★★★
Venue: Polka Theatre, London
Cast: Dom Coyote, Lloyd Coleman, Jakob Vinther, Victoria Oruwari, Harry Miller, Roxana Vilk

A rip-roaring, prehistoric science pop gig for curious humans of all ages. Have you ever wondered what a dinosaur might do in a day? Or what they actually really looked like What colour were they? Did they have stripes and spots? Were they really green like they are in the movies? Join five amazing musicians and famous palaeontologist Dr Jakob Vinther as they enter the multi-coloured world of the dinosaurs with soaring music, catchy songs and mind-blowing science.

The Colour of Dinosaurs is currently playing at the Polka Theatre in Wimbledon after a sold-out week of performances at Bristol Old Vic back in 2023. The show is an hour long with no interval, which is the ideal length for any child's attention span.

The staging by Amy Pitt and Saskia Tomlinson is beautiful, as we see five neon dinosaur outlines, and three large pink circles, which change colour throughout the show. The musician's equipment is also set up, with jungle-like leaves on the front of the stage, to give the feel of being in the wild, which is captured perfectly. Dom Coyote is not only the director of the show, but also the lead vocalist. As well as Lloyd Coleman being the composer, as well as the pianist - it's a production full of multi-talented individuals! 

This particular show is brought to you by five talented musicians and a famous palaeontologist (which I didn’t know about until after the show, I genuinely thought he was an actor!), Dr Jakob Vinther. The show is actually based on Dr Vinther's work back in 2008 when he was studying for his PHD at Yale. Vinther and a team of researchers first discovered the presence of melanin in fossilised dinosaur feathers, which was then documented in his 2008 paper “the colour of the fossil feathers”.

This show is not just fun, but also educational, as we discover what colour the dinosaurs are, we also learn that melanin is what causes our colouring. This show really does celebrate everyone differences including disability, cultural identity and they do all this through the love of a passion, which in this case, is through dinosaurs. Dr Jakob Vinther even shows some real fossils which I thought was interesting.

The show is interactive and engaging with the audience members; almost like party entertainers and the children were clearly loving every second. The enthusiasm and engagement from the children was a sight to behold; it's just a shame my child has grown out of his dinosaur age, because he would very much enjoyed this when he was younger! I also really loved how much the adults seemed to enjoy themselves as well. It was wonderful to look around see some really beautiful bonding moments and special memories being created between the adults and the children they were with.

I thought the songs were brilliant and very catchy; I still have "Tyrannosaurus Rex" in my head! This song in particular was great and the cast encouraged the audience to dance along with a routine for this.

It's also worth mentioning that the entire cast are brilliant, but in particular, I enjoyed the excitement on  Dr Jakob Vinther face when he's teaching the audience about his research. You can both see and feel the passion this man has for his work, and that is beautiful in itself.

If you're looking for something to do over the next couple of weeks, especially as May half term is fast approaching, The Colour of Dinosaurs will be playing until Sunday 9th June. Your child doesn’t even have to be particularly interested in dinosaurs! However, I can wholeheartedly say you'll have a roarsome time.

You can book tickets to The Colour of Dinosaurs, here.

Review by Sarah

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