Outdoor theatre fans were treated to a stunning display of inventiveness and charm as prehistoric animals and Edwardian adventurers were brought convincingly – and quirkily – to life.
The ingenuity displayed by Illyria was immediately evident, as just six actors (who between them took on all roles) and some simple props conveyed Arthur Conan Doyle’s epic 1912 adventure of dinosaur exploration.
The dinosaurs were, like everything else, simply done with imagination and humour. Pterodactyls were formed from umbrellas and a pair of tongs, but with these skilled handlers they lived and breathed.
The archaic and stilted dialogue took the audience, already ensconced with picnic baskets, tables and chairs back to this golden age. But the language was probably above the heads of some of the younger children.
Not to worry, as the frequent and energetic action scenes, set to great cinematic music, recaptured their interest again and enthralled everyone else. The climactic scene with the 15 ft T-Rex was thrilling and fitted in perfectly in a Heath Robinson-esque type of way,