Think T-Rex: think vicious, jeep-chasing dinosaur. It’s a petrifying prospect.
Yet recently we discovered an even more frightening truth – T-Rex was a pack hunter, and not a lone operator as previously believed.
But it wasn’t a famous palaeontologist who enlightened the world with this revelation – it was a Bristol-based birdwatcher who likes Battenberg cake. And it was entirely accidental.
Matt Brierley stumbled across the truth about the extinct hunter’s group habits in a revelation that will send ripples through fans of Sharptooth in Land Before Time.
The heartwarming story – which has most recently seen Matt accept a researcher role on Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur – unfolds in his uproarious one-man show, T-Rex: A Pack Of Lies.
Following a full-house run at the Edinburgh Festival, and two sell-out runs at Clifton’s Alma Tavern Theatre, it returns to the Alma for four nights from September 21.
“I went to an exhibition at the Natural History Museum examining the idea that T-Rex wasn’t a hunter, but 100 per cent a scavenger instead,” explains Matt. “You were given a slip and asked to vote for what you believed. However, after weighing up the evidence, my background in ecology led me to believe that T-Rex was a pack hunter.
“It wasn’t an option in the ballot, so I penned a sincere (if slightly tongue-in-cheek) letter to the museum, and they wrote back to say there was no evidence for pack-hunting in T-Rex.
“That should have been that, it was never intended as a comedy show. But a couple of years later, wasting time in an airport, I stumbled across an article about new science showing tyrannosaurids were social, complete with proof they were hunters. I was staggered to learn I was right, but even more stunned when I dug down into the scavenger theory and discovered the dark underbelly of dinosaur science.”
And so began a journey that would involve Bill Oddie, Sir Patrick Moore, Charlie from Casualty and the mayor of an American town, inevitably called Dinosaur.
Matt added: “It is a story about dinosaurs and the pursuit of truth, laced with coincidence. I wasn’t expecting the show to become a smash hit, but perhaps because it is ultimately about honesty and all really happened, it always sells out.
“People even come back and see it again, saying they find it inspirational.”
This time around, Matt will use all profits from the show to fund a film about shark conservation charity, Fin Fighters.
Performances run from September 21 to 24 starting at 7.30pm, with tickets costing £5. To book, visit www.
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