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Blog: An Afternoon Of Dinosaurs

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I was up to my neck in DINOSAURS for most of this weekend. Myself and Mr S Hewitt are performing a selection of songs from Dinosaur Planet at Museums Showoff tomorrow and as it's been a while since we performed any of those songs we thought it might be a GOOD IDEA to get together for a practice.

This we very much DID - we have a 9 minute slot, so worked up a 7 minute SETLIST, finishing with a DANCE ROUTINE, which ought to do the trick. After that we moved on to a performance of a revised version of the entire SHOW. We're reviving the whole thing for a couple of gigs in August, one of which will be at a Festival That I'm Not Allowed To Tell You About Yet, and the other will be a WARM UP for said extravaganza at The Camden Head on August 13, as part of the Camden Fringe.

The main lesson I learnt from doing the two-man version of Dinosaur Planet was that BORING BITS aren't much fun for everyone. I distinctly remember how getting to certain points of the show and thinking, every time, "Oh well, we're putting the Robot Heads on soon, it'll pick up again then." When I wrote Moon Horse I tried my best to eliminate ALL boring bits, and almost succeed - anyone who's seen may remember the whole "rhyming section" which never worked as I'd hoped, but otherwise I think it managed at least not to SAG at any point.

With this in mind (and especially considering we'll be doing it an an ACTUAL FESTIVAL where people might be sat a fair way away) I PRUNED the story, cutting out some characters (Sgt Phil, Professor Probersite) ENTIRELY and generally trimming back some of the less, shall we say, EXCITING parts. It seemed to work pretty well - we both expressed dismay at various removals, but largely agreed on the changes, and made a recording of the whole thing so that we can learn it up over the next few months. There's not much time for practicing between the end of THE OLYMPICS (which, as you may know, Steve is basically the STAR of) so it seemed like a good idea.

Not satisfied with all THAT we then spent a GLEEFUL fifteen minutes MANIPULATING LIZARDS. I'm making a video for The Battle Of Peterborough (due for release in about 5 weeks, I will MOST LIKELY be mentioning it a few times between now and then!) which uses ASTONISHING SPECIAL EFFECTS, and some of these require two pairs of hands to make work. Thus we sat in front of my computer WAVING DINOSAURS around in front of the camera. It's very difficult NOT to make Dinosaur noises when doing this sort of thing... so we didn't try, and had a very lovely time going "GRAAAGH! NGGG! RARGLE! GRRRR!!" and EMOTING via plastic.

Then we went to THE PUB for a couple of WELL EARNED pints. It had been an afternoon FULL of Dinosaurs, and we were WORN!

posted 24/4/2012 by MJ Hibbett

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