Dinosaur At Large

Music theatre work for young performers


25 minutes




Commissioned by Longman





Pat (boy or girl)
Teacher (male or female)
Queen Elizabeth I
Sir Walter Raleigh
Roman General
Budicca (Boadicea)
Tyrannosaurus Rex
Chorus of Schoolchildren at the Museum
Chorus of Courtiers and Soldiers at the Court of Queen Elizabeth I
Chorus of Roman Soldiers
Chorus of Budicca’s Warriors
Chorus of Dinosaurs
The piece is scored for a small band of classroom instruments.
Melody instruments: most probably, descant recorders will be available, but such instruments as violins, flutes and clarinets could all be used, and would give some variety of tone and colour. At one point, a bugle, trumpet or cornet is called for, though other instruments can used be if necessary. Six or eight players would be sufficient. br>Tuned percussion: instruments may include xylophones, glockenspiels, metallophones and chime bars. Some deep-toned instruments, e.g. a bass xylophone, would help to balance the sound. A minimum of four players is required.
Unpitched percussion: tambourine, suspended cymbal, gong (or tam-tam), side drum, bass drum and small and large wood blocks are indicated in the score. Teachers may substitute other instruments depending on availability and are free to use additional instruments to add colour to the score. Four players would be sufficient.
Bass line: this may be played on anything suitable – piano, electric keyboard, cello, bassoon or bass xylophone. One player would suffice, or the part could be divided between several players, each on a different instrument, and each playing at different points in the score.
Piano: there is no independent piano part: the piano simply doubles the instrumental parts. For rehearsals, when the piano will almost certainly prove useful, the pianist or teacher should play from the vocal score or the full score. During the performance the piano should be used with some discretion.
Guitar: the use of guitars is entirely optional, though there are a number of points at which young guitarists could join in, playing a simple chordal accompaniment.



The story begins inside the local museum, where Pat, bored by the teacher’s tedious explanations, is left alone talking to a baby brachiosaurus. Together they convert a spaceship into a time machine in an attempt to return the brachiosaurus to his own time. On the way they encounter Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Walter Raleigh, Budicca and a Roman Legion. Whizzing faster and still further back in time, they eventually reach the age of the dinosaur, when the brachiosaurus is welcomed home by a crowd of galumphing relations. Tyrannosaurus Rex almost gets the last laugh!

Composer Notes

Programme Notes


First Performance

Leeds Grammar School, Yorkshire (Leeds Festival)

Wednesday, 4 July 1990

Pupils of Pudsey Bolton Royds Junior School