“[A] brilliant, groundbreaking production… a sharp, funny, and honest script”
Following sold-out seasons in Brisbane and Sydney, The Wider Earth finds the perfect home at the the Natural History Museum. The Museum is custodian to many of the specimens Charles Darwin collected on his expeditions and its 350 scientists continue in his footsteps of exploration and discovery, seeking solutions to the major issues facing the natural world. This will be the first time a performance-based theatre has been constructed in the Museum and adds an exciting new element to the wide-range of exhibitions and events which already attract over 4.5 million visitors every year.
Featuring a cast of seven and 30 extraordinary hand-made puppets representing the exotic wildlife Darwin encountered, The Wider Earth is an ingenious coming-of-age story which celebrates the incredible complexity of our planet and Darwin’s adventurous spirit as he faced perilous environments and unknown dangers on his bold voyage.
The production explores the little-known story of the rebellious young Charles Darwin when, aged only 22, he set out on his daring five-year voyage on the HMS Beagle. When he departed, he could not have known that that this trip would help him reach controversial conclusions about natural selection and lead to his theory of evolution. The Wider Earth follows Darwin’s expedition as uncharted landscapes unfold in a series of dazzling animations and original illustrations from the voyage.
The Jerwood Gallery at the Natural History Museum was beautifully restored in 1999 with a generous capital grant from the Jerwood Foundation to provide a home in the Museum for arts and science exhibitions and activities. Evening audiences will pass next to the Museum’s cuttingedge Darwin Centre. The Centre comprises working laboratories as well as some of the 22 million zoological specimens housed there, including specimens collected by Charles Darwin on his voyage in 1831.
The Museum’s scientists, led by paleobiologist Professor Adrian Lister, author of Darwin’s Fossils, are working closely with the creative producers of the show to ensure it is rooted in authenticity.