As part of her ongoing post-show Q&A series, on Tuesday 9 October 2018, Mates co-founder Terri Paddock will quiz the creators (and the puppets?) behind one of the biggest theatrical events of the year, the European premiere of The Wider Earth at the Natural History Museum? Unmissable insights guaranteed! Got any questions?
Wow! A historic first for me: my first-ever post-show Q&A at the Natural History Museum. And not just that but to what looks like to be one of the theatrical events of the year!
A brand-new venue in the Jerwood Gallery at the Natural History Museum, the museum’s first performance theatre, will be unveiled for the European premiere of award-winning drama The Wider Earth, telling the story of a young Charles Darwin.
Join the 22-year-old Darwin on HMS Beagle’s daring, five-year voyage to the far side of the world, and discover the gripping story behind one of the most important discoveries in history. The Wider Earth features a cast of seven, remarkable puppetry, an original score and cinematic animations to bring to life uncharted landscapes.
Written and directed by Dead Puppet Society’s Creative Director David Morton, The Wider Earth was initially conceived in 2013 in Cape Town during a mentorship with Handspring Puppet Company, the creative team behind War Horse.
Bradley Foster plays the rebellious young Darwin in a cast that also features War Horse actors Ian Houghton, Andrew Bridgmont and Matt Tait, as well as Jack Parry-Jones, Marcello Cruz, Melissa Vaughan, Rory Fairbairn and Kim Scopes.
The visually spectacular production also features 30 puppets representing the tropical wildlife Darwin encountered on his voyage. These incredible hand-made puppets are as much the stars of the show as the humans who operate them. From tiny Galápagos finches, to giant tortoises and a fossilised glyptodon, the puppets have been made following observations in the field and extensive analysis of anatomical drawings. Created over the past two years, the puppets have now had their final stages of fabrication and modification at the Darwin Centre in the Natural History Museum.
The new 357-seat theatre will allow audiences to enter the Museum after dark and pass the cutting-edge Darwin Centre, a working scientific laboratory full of zoological specimens including those collected by Darwin on his voyage. Led by paleobiologist Professor Adrian Lister, author of Darwin’s Fossils, the Museum’s scientists are working closely with the creative producers.