So a near nine month contract with Dinosaurs in the Wild in London comes to an end and I leave Timebase 67 for the last time. Although I have worked with the public a lot over the years I have never been involved in an immersive experience quite like this before – and what a privilege it was to be a part of!
A highly tuned and very technical show/experience running to a strict schedule (“time travel waits for no one!”), DitW combined phenomenal audio and visual kit, 4D technology, animatronics, extraordinary sets and set dressing to make for an incredible journey back into the Cretaceous for the many thousands of people who came to visit. But it was the live action, brilliantly directed by Cameron Wenn in London, assisted by Hannah Ellis, that helped bring it all to life….he says with just a bit of bias!
As an actor the show demanded a combination of freedom and truth together with a strict adherence to the mechanics of the production. This is not unique for actors of course, but when the mechanics are operating numerous buttons, props, levers, mics and sensors in multiple rooms as part of a multi-million pound set and the script has to be timed to precision, as do the many moments of improvisation and interaction with the public….well…you have to be on your toes. The wonderful public are also gloriously unpredictable of course, with all ages and emotions in amongst the 40 odd members per tour!
I have loved meeting so many members of the public but, as ever, it is the fabulous fellow cast members, stage management and technical crew, front office and creative team that I will miss most. It is an industry of hellos and goodbyes but this one has been, for me, really special. If it re-appears somewhere do catch it, but stay alert and if you go up to the world famous Chronotex look-out to see the dinosaurs, stay away from the windows…