The Iguanodon Restaurant – Street Theatre Performance

The Igunaodon Restaurant

Iggy gigs 2017:

  • Lyme Regis Fossil Festival – April 28th, 29th and 30th
  • Crowborough Community Festival – The Lost World Fun Day – May 1st
  • Camp Bestival – July 28th, 29th and 30th
  • Crystal Palace Park – Sept 9th and 10th (tbc)

“I was lucky enough to watch the Iguanodon Restaurant at Lyme Regis at the fossil festival and thought it was great!! I loved it – and so did the rest of the family.” 

About the Show ~

The Iguanodon Restaurant is an outdoor theatre performance for schools and families set in a life size dinosaur. The show lasts for 35 minutes and tells the story of the birth of geology in a fast and furious romp through 60 years of scientific discovery. As the story unfolds eccentric characters emerge from history; they compete for fame, laying claim to the biggest and most famous bones. They posed new questions that shocked the world: How come these creatures no longer exist? And – What does this tell us about the world we live in?

the video trailer here:


Photos and video by James Price

We invite you to dine inside the belly of an Iguanodon. Guests will feast on a julienne of joviality… Scandalous skulduggery… Fossil-fuelled fun… A dessert of dinosaur delight!

It’s 1853, New Year’s Eve, and Crystal Palace Park dinosaur builders are preparing for a sumptuous banquet inside the concrete mould of an iguanodon. As we learn the story of ‘Iggy’, historical characters emerge; the finders of famous fossils and early ‘undergroundologists’ of England. Dinosaurs are very hot news; their discoveries are patronised by the rich and discussed by the famous, but what do they mean? As new, unsettling ideas of extinction and evolution emerge, blancmanges spin and birds fly from pies in the Iguanodon Restaurant!

happy feasting 3

The Artistic Team:

Sarah Butterworth – Artistic Director
Richie Smith – Writer and Director of Performance
Ed Jobling – Performer (Bill, Anning, Cuvier, Smith, Owen, Darwin)
Mike Bennet – Performer (Hawkins, Buckland, Mantell)

mantell owen anning

Emerald Ant has worked with scientists at the Jurassic Coast Team and our partners the Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs to ensure our work is scientifically correct.

Tour dates 2016:

Lyme Regis Fossil Festival – 30/31 April
Nature Rocks, West Bay, Dorset
– 11 August
Anonymous Festival, Dorchester – 27 August
Yorkshire Fossil Festival, Scarborough –  16, 17 & 18 September
Lewes Fossil Festival – 25 September

Woodruffe School, Lyme Regis –  13 October
Sidmouth Science Festival, Devon– 15 October

Follow Iggy and Horace at:

Twitter #Iggy1853
Facebook #Iggy1853

We are grateful to our supporters and partners:

ACE logoPalAss logo 2_edited-1JCT-Logo[on-White)UKOGL logocurry+web.qxdFCPD-logo-sm


Iggy’s ready for action and will make his debut on 30th April

Here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for…..It’s Iggy’s big debut.

iggy head

We are thrilled to announce the grand opening of the Iguanodon Restaurant next weekend (30th April-1st May) at the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival.

There will be 3 outdoor shows a day at the Cobb Car Park, please look out for timings there on the day, but expect them between 11 and 4 pm. Each lasts around 25 minutes.

A big thank you to all our supporters and we look forward to seeing you there.

Making Iggy… shots from the workshop

Iggy making commenced early January. Mike the engineer began with a flatbed trailer, added winches and welded on a massive dino structure with an opening lid …

iggy jan 22

Then the big bad girl team got together in our glamour den grain drier barn, and within 3 weeks we have a proper Iggy emerging…


Sarah and Sarah at the front, Mo and Georgi at the back, and our lovely boss-eyed beast. A fabulous team full of energy and drive despite the cold and downright miserable weather…

More photos –

sculpting Iggysculpting iggy 3

iggy feb 18sculpting iggy's arse

They made it differently in 1852 –

Iggy being made - q-H shed

Thanks to everyone so far –  Mike, Stephen, Mo and Sarah from AUB, Georgi and Waterhouse -Hawkins the original Iggy-builder.

The next big thing’s the head … come back again to see it next week!

Many thanks to our partners and supporters:

ACE logoPalAss logo 2_edited-1JCT-Logo[on-White)UKOGL logocurry+web.qxdFCPD-logo-sm


The Iguanodon Restaurant gets Arts Council Funding!!

We are thrilled to announce Arts Council support for the Iguanodon Restaurant – our new street show about the origins of geology.

Iggy model 5_sm

Together with the Arts Council, we have support from the Curry Fund, the Palaeontological Association, Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, the UK Onshore Geophysical Library and the Jurassic Coast Trust.

We’re looking forward to starting to build Iggy in January.


Emerald Ant and The Iguanodon Restaurant

Iguanodon Restaurant - Emerald Ant

Iggy model - Sarah Butterworth

Iggy model 2

Scaled Iggy model by Sarah Butterworth and Mike Pattison

Arts-science Programme for Schools  

We will be running an intensive programme for schools in 2016 -18, on the Jurassic Coast, the Sussex and Kent Weald (where iguanodon were found), and in the Crystal Palace area of London. We’ll be working with the Jurassic Coast Team to support schools to teach geology creatively, and to use the Jurassic Coast as a learning resource. At each school we’ll stay for 2 days, performing the show, running creative discussions around important themes, and providing an arts-science fossil workshop, identifying and interpreting local fossils and re-creating the animals they once were. In doing this, we’ll be supporting the development of Jurassica on Portland, the work of the Jurassic Coast Team, and Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs. We’ve already got 8 schools on board. If you work at a school and are interested, please get in touch, details below…

Ig 3   The Iguanodon, as it was understood in 1859, by Samuel Griswold Goodrich 

1 Crystal_palace_iguanodon

The real ‘Iguanodon Banquet’ of 1853, as seen in the Illustrated London News, 7 Jan 1854

And Iggy as he stands today in Crystal Palace…


The Iguanodon Restaurant may also be used at Food Festivals for dining and we are interested in hearing from anyone involved in pop up restaurants and related events.

Many thanks to our partners and supporters:

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FCPD-logo-sm   JCT-Logo[on-White)UKOGL logo

The Nutcracker – Christmas at Mottisfont Abbey

Walnut Boat Theatre – Sarah Butterworth

Emerald Ant has just built six installations for Mottisfont Abbey’s Christmas Celebrations.

The work can be seen in the house as part of a magical trail.

Artists: Sarah Butterworth, Mike Pattison, Ian Robins

Special thanks to students at AUB: Sophie Thorneycroft, Ella Challis and Ylana Lovell.

Also Sue Parr, Stephen Fremantle, Sandy James and Julian Wesolowski

Hare Here

Hare Here at last – The festival’s a-foot, and so is the hare – please come and see it at Littlebredy over the weekend.

Hare for Inside Out Festival Dorset, Littlebredy

Hare for Inside Out Festival Dorset, Littlebredy

hare panorama completed 2 Making the hare smThanks to all the amazing people who helped do this, especially my wonderful friend Stephen who stuck with it throughout, also Jon Horgan, Dave and Fleet Linemakers, Jen and Joe from Activate who helped produce it and the farmer and landowner at Littlebredy. Without you the hillside would just grass and cowpat.

The White Hare


Hare on hillside


This month I will be painting a giant white hare on a hillside in Littlebredy.

This is for the Inside Out Dorset Arts Festival, taking place September 19th -21st.

The Hare will measure around 40 metres and will be made up of chalk paint. It will be put together by a team of volunteer plotters and painters.

Keep your fingers crossed for good weather…

Castle in the Clouds, A Celebration of Lawrence of Arabia


In May 2014  ten students from Carter Community School came to Clouds Hill, the small cottage of T E Lawrence in Bovington, Dorset. There they learnt about Lawrence, World War I, and crusader castles, one of Lawrence’s greatest passions.

Watch our film here:


Carter students with Lawrence’s Brough

Clouds Hill volunteer guides, historians, archaeologists and soldiers shared their expert knowledge on Lawrence, brought World War I uniforms and passed around military artefacts excavated from the Great Arab Revolt in 1914.



Ottoman soldiers’ buttons found by archaeologist John Winterburn,The Great Arab Revolt Project, 

Photos: Tony Gill

We linked with International Pioneers Education School in Jordan to learn about Arabian castles. The Jordanian students made a film about their local citadel; Jabal Al Qala’a and we spoke about this on Skype.


Skype link with IPE students in Amman

Then we built our own Arabian castle on the hill behind Lawrence’s cottage, and performed a shadow dance to an audience of families and friends.



A film and a downloadable pack for schools can be seen on the schools page.

Thanks to the National Trust and their amazing volunteers, Bovington Army Camp, Arts University Bournemouth and The Great Arab Revolt Project, Bristol University

The project was run by Emerald Ant, and supported by

The National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Sharing Heritage’, and the Ernest Cook Trust.