Trish Wadley Productions and the Dead Puppet Society have announced they will be will be creating a 357-seat theatre in the Jerwood Gallery at the Natural History Museum to present the European premiere of The Wider Earth .
Following successful runs in Brisbane and Sydney, The Wider Earth will come to London for a limited season from the 2nd October until the 30th December.
As well as being the first time a performance-based theatre has been constructed in the museum, it is the perfect place to showcase The Wider Earth as the Natural History 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.
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 Wider Earth will feature a cast of seven as well as thirty hand-made puppets representing the exotic wildlife Darwin encountered, to bring to life Darwin’s adventurous spirit as he faced perilous environments and unknown dangers on his bold voyage.
Talking about the news the Natural History Museum’s Director of Engagement Clare Matterson said: “This is a really exciting creative collaboration – bringing together a hugely talented theatrical team and the Natural History Museum’s world-renowned scientific expertise. It makes perfect sense for the Museum to host this production which is a gripping retelling of one of the most important voyages in scientific history. During this expedition, Charles Darwin collected the specimens that would inspire his theory of evolution and change how we understand the world – specimens we still house at the Museum and continue to make available for global scientific research.”
Written and directed by Dead Puppet Society’s creative director David Morton, the idea for The Wider Earth was conceived at a residency in Cape Town in 2013 with the Handspring Puppet Company. The production was then developed for a further eight months in residence at St. Ann’s Warehouse in New York, followed by a workshop at The Lincoln Center in 2015 and went into production with Queensland Theatre for the 2016 world premiere.
The Wider Earth will play at the Natural History Museum from the 2nd October until the 30th December. For more information and to book tickets visit: https://thewiderearth.com/.