The Iguanodon Restaurant

“A delightfully weird but educational street theatre performance,” (Time Out)


“You need to see the Iguanodon Restaurant, it’s awesome!”

“Fantastic paleo-history storytelling from the Iguanodon Restaurant.” 

Watch the video trailer here:

“That is just too cool!” 

“Mary Anning was in the iguanodon play excitingly. It was sooooooooooo funny. It had fossils in it. I went up on the stage carefully.” 

Twitter comments at


About the Show

The Iguanodon Restaurant is a theatre performance for families set in a life-size Victorian iguanodon. Since 2016 we have performed to 20,380 people at festivals, schools, in carparks and shopping centres. Our biggest audience was 1191 on a sunny day in Hastings. We often work with museums to celebrate their geology collections and draw attention to local fossils in the surrounding countryside.

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; Mary Anning, Sir Richard Owen, Baron George Cuvier and the Godfather of Geology William Smith. They compete for fame, claiming the biggest, best fossils for themselves. They grapple with questions that shook society: How come these creatures no longer exist? What does this tell us about the world we live in? Where’s my hat?

Iggy has been stabled throughout 2020 and has remained Covid-free. We are planning to tour him around Dorset, Somerset and Devon in 2021-22.


photo by Finbarr Webster

“I was so impressed by what I saw that I saw it twice and both times enjoyed it immensely. The theme and presentation was some of the best I have seen to date. To get facts over to the public using such a great storyline was a credit to not only the actors but to whoever created the idea and set up in the first place. Well done, we need more of this as a great educational aid.”    (Paleontologist Steve Etches, Etches Collection, Kimmeridge)


The Artistic Team:
Sarah Butterworth – Artistic Director, performer
Richie Smith – Writer and Director of Performance
Ed Jobling – Performer (Bill, Anning, Cuvier, Smith, Owen, Darwin)
Mike Bennet – Performer (Hawkins, Buckland, Mantell)
Georgie Rose Shire – Artist
Mike Pattison – Engineer
Jay Kerry – Maker, technician
Holly Miller – Artist
Shirley Pegna – Music

Many thanks to students at Arts University Bournemouth – Sarah Woollet, Mo Clouting, Heidi-Jo Heard, Eleanor Pollock, Lyddia Green, Amy Healy and Rimante Alisauskaite.


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 (tbc)

Lewes Fossil Festival – 25 September

Sidmouth Science Festival, Devon– 15 October

Iggy is now up to speed on social media! Follow him on:

Twitter #Iggy1853

Facebook #Iggy1853

We are grateful to our supporters and partners:


Making Iggy – shots from the workshop

February 18, 2016


Theatrical engineer Mike Pattison welding Iggy into being


Our team of fabulous makers in the cold workshop, January 2016.

More photos




They made it differently in 1852…


The Iguanodon Restaurant gets Arts Council Funding!!

December 28, 2015

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


Little Iggy

Emerald Ant and The Iguanodon Restaurant


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…


See us on social media…