Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon caught a sneak peek behind-the-scenes of the upcoming production that will play in a unique theatre created especially for the production at the Natural History Museum. Here are five reasons why she thinks you need to see this show….
1. The incredible puppets: Not only does David Morton’s production feature a human cast of humans, but it will also include some incredible puppets created by the Dead Puppet Society. The puppets (as seen behind-the-scenes) are wonderfully mechanical, re-creating the movements of the real-life animals they are based on perfectly and are examples of some of the creatures that Darwin encountered on the voyage he took aged 22.
2. A chance to find out more about Charles Darwin and his extraordinary discoveries: When you think of Charles Darwin you tend to think of an old man with a beard best known for his book On the Origin of Species. But with The Wider Earth, audiences will get an opportunity to see him in a different light and discover his passion for discovery and the creatures he found along the way, helped by the great imagination of David Morton who wrote the play and has directed it himself.
3. The location: Of course the Natural History Museum is the perfect place to present The Wider Earth and is based just down the hallway from where the Darwin Centre is based, adding an extra resonance and fascination. With the idea of evolution surrounding the building, it feels extremely apt to have a show that celebrates Darwin’s discoveries in a new way in this location.
4. The set: So while the theatre is still in working progress, it is still possible to get a sense of the magic that the production wants to achieve – starting with the impressively designed set that revolves. When you initially glance at the set, it is contemporary in style but still has a sense of history about it that will enhance the story. On top of the set will be a number of extra magical elements that make me eager to see The Wider Earth in full for myself…
5. It is a celebration of nature: From the extract of the show that I have seen, The Wider Earth is a celebration of nature and discovery – something that should still be done today, particularly given the advances in technology since Darwin’s time. The show seems to want to enhance that message as well as offering a new insight into Darwin’s own discoveries.