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Dragons and Mythical Beasts review – Regent’s Park

Dragons and Mythical Beasts review – Regent’s Park
Ronita Dutta BritMums writer
Roni Dutta

See our parent review of Dragons and Mythical Beasts, the show at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre featuring puppets of beasts by the Dinosaur World Live team. BritMum’s Roni Dutta took her son and his friend along to see it.

If you’re feeling nervous about a family trip to the theatre, a visit to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre could be just the ticket. Productions are staged entirely outdoors so the Covid risk is reduced. The puppets have enough wow-factor to amaze even the fussiest of audiences. Read on for more details. Dragons and Mythical Beasts tours England autumn 2021.

two handlers with the Stone Troll onstage for Dragons and Mythical Beasts at Regent's Open Air Theatre
The Stone Troll in Dragons and Mythical Beasts written and co-directed by Derek Bond

What’s the story in Dragons and Mythical Beasts?

Dave the Hero Trainer (Ben Galpin) is on a mission to help us all become heroes. But in order to succeed in this mission, we must help Dave retrieve a series of magic charms from various mythical beasts including ‘A diamond from a heart of stone’ from a Stone Troll; ‘a healing horn of magic’ grown from a unicorn and ‘a fairy’s gold brought with a deal’ from Aerwyn the Tooth Fairy. Dave invites a brave member of the audience to help him collect each of the treasures but the incredible large (and small) scale puppets and puppeteers are the real stars of the show. 

The Unicorn puppet in Dragons and Mythical Beasts
The Unicorn in Dragons and Mythical Beasts

What do kids think about Dragons and Mythical Beasts?

Our kid-reviewers enjoyed the show…and for reasons that might surprise parents: ‘I liked it because there weren’t many effects,’ says Holly, 10 and a half. ‘They weren’t robots, they were puppets, controlled in such a life-like manner that you could imagine the puppeteers weren’t there.’ It was the magic of puppetry that helped make the show magical.

For Arun, nearly 9, a highlight was one section of the quest: ‘My favourite part was when they made Aerwyn the Tooth Fairy big and she got really cross.’

What age children will enjoy Dragons and Mythical Beasts?

Puppetry fans of all ages will appreciate the skill and storytelling of the puppet masters.

For kids: 5-7 year-olds will get peak enjoyment from the show. My almost-9-year old and his 10-year-old friend Holly thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle of the various mythical puppets and were fascinated by how they were operated by human puppeteers. However they felt the narrative itself skewed pretty young. I did notice a few toddlers in the audience getting upset because a couple of the beasts were a bit scary too. 

children with the Dragon puppet in Dragon and Mythical Creatures theatre show
Children at the show. Photographer: Mark Senior

Useful info about the show

This is a 50-minute performance with no interval and there is some audience participation but only those who put their hand up will be chosen. 

For the Regent’s Park performances, prepare for any weather and check the forecast before setting off. Bring sunscreen and sunhats as the theatre can get very hot on sunny days. Equally, waterproofs are a good idea for a light drizzle. And do be aware that performances will be cancelled or rescheduled when the weather is just too wet.

What to eat at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

There are stands serving pizza, refreshments and (delicious but pricey) ice cream and there are plenty of picnic benches to sit at before and after the show. 

All in all, a trip to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is a fun day out!

Dragons and Mythical Beasts is playing at Regent’s Park Open Air theatre in London, until 5 September. After that, the show goes on tour in England; see the cities and dates.

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About Ronita Dutta

Former BritMums Brilliance in Blogging judge and award-winning freelance journalist with over 20 years experience producing engaging content for clients including BBC Studios, The Independent and Penguin. She's written on a diverse range of subjects from health and beauty to parenting, education, psychology and even the weather. Daughter of Bengali immigrants, Ronita was born and bred in London where she and her son can often be found building endless Lego creations.