The Iguanodon Restaurant

“Delightfully weird…” (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 schools and 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 numbered 1191 keen picnickers on a sunny day in Hastings. We perform to whole schools and work with museums to celebrate their geology collections and draw attention to local fossils.

The show lasts for 40 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! And they grapple with questions that shook society: How come these creatures no longer exist? What does this tell us about our world? Where’s my hat?



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 it up in the first place. Well done, we need more of this as a great educational aid.”   

(Steve Etches, Etches Collection, Kimmeridge)


The Artistic Team:
Sarah Butterworth – Artistic Director, performer, artist
Richie Smith – Writer and Director of Performance
Vic Llewellyn – Performer (Bill, Anning, Cuvier, Smith, Owen, Darwin)
Jacob Aldcroft – Performer (Hawkins, Buckland, Mantell)
Mike Pattison – Theatrical Engineer
Jay Kerry – Maker, technician
Holly Miller, Georgie Rose Shire – Makers
Shirley Pegna – Music

Note that photos above are from Iggy’s previous shows, staring Ed Jobling, Mike Bennet and Sarah Butterworth.

Many thanks to students at Arts University Bournemouth – Sarah Woollet, Mo Clouting, Heidi-Jo Heard, Eleanor Pollock, Lyddia Green, Amy Healy and Rimante Alisauskaite who toiled endlessly in a cold barn to build Iggy.


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

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…