Erth's Dinosaur Zoo
- David Pollock
- 5 August 2019
Dramatic and educational international puppetry hit
A rarity among Fringe shows, in that it was an international stage hit before arriving in Edinburgh, Sydney-based company Erth's Dinosaur Zoo is an easy recommendation to make. A large-scale centrepiece event, it's an absolute necessity that this is performed in the large McEwan Hall – because a puppet show on this magnitude doesn't work anywhere but a concert hall.
The show – led by Santa-bearded palaeontologist/zookeeper/ringmaster figure Scott – comes across as a routine zoo animal demonstration, which is an affirmation of just how realistically crafted the puppets are.
With the help of a trio of puppeteers, we meet a cute baby triceratops and parasaurolophus (and hear the unappetising story of how they receive dinner); witness a stalking tyrannosaurus rex and experience the most thrilling part of the show when a young audience member is invited to place their head in its mouth; and enjoy a well-worked moment where a small and very brave volunteer feeds flowers to a giant titanosaur.
Of course, this isn't the CGI of Jurassic Park, and older kids might enjoy spotting the hints of unreality. But both the dramatic and educational potential of the show has been crafted to such a degree that everyone should take something from it.
Underbelly Bristo Square, until 26 Aug (not 12), 11am, £14.50–£15.50) (£13–£14).