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Following it's conclusion, the Expo site has entered the next phase of it's evolution - a wasteland of decaying pavilions, piles of garbage and home to the shiny new Mercedes AEG Arena; previously known as the huge egg shaped UFO that nobody actually went into when the Expo was on.

Well today, every expat family in Shanghai went into it to watch one of only two English performances of Walking with Dinosaurs the Arena Spectacular.

It's no surprise they were willing to abandon brunch at Amokka or Baker & Spice and get their driver to sit in an hour of traffic. This was a chance to see a mass-scale event that doesn't involve traditional Chinese music or fireworks going off every 30 seconds... and it had popcorn.

So we sat in the 18,000 seat arena with our popcorn and dinosaur hats and watched as Huxley, the paleontologist, took us on a journey through time, introducing very lifelike animatronic renditions of the classic kong-long (chinese for dinosaur) varieties.

They look great - no expense has been spared. The youngest proportion of the audience sat trembling as, amongst others, huge stegosaurus, allosaurus, torosaurus and finally a T-Rex emerge from the dark, thud their way around the arena floor and let off a few huge blood curdling screeches.

It does become a little repetitive as each scene involves some variation of a dinosaur eating foliage (or a baby dinosaur), sniffing the audience, snorting at Huxley and entering into a fight scene. Here they zig zag awkwardly across the floor (the camouflaged cars between their legs are not particularly maneuverable) and the sensation of realism drops a notch or two. Before we know it - the show is over as Huxley unwaveringly attributes dino-extinction to a huge meteor. I didn't know that had been fully agreed upon.

Not that this detracts from the event. It's extremely well put together, a fitting escape from the depths of Shanghai's winter and hopefully a sign of more big arena events to come. Now they've just got to find a way of making access a little more appealing than a half-hour walk through post-Expo carnage.

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