Award-winning Darwin drama to be staged at the Natural History Museum

Trish Wadley Productions and Dead Puppet Society will be creating a 357-seat theatre in the Jerwood Gallery at the Natural History Museum. This will be the first time a traditional performance theatre has been constructed in the museum – one of the world’s most iconic buildings which attracts over 4.5 million visitors every year. This exciting new theatre will host the European premiere of The Wider Earth which follows sold-out seasons in Brisbane and Sydney – the show will be playing from Tuesday 2nd October to Sunday 30th December 2018.

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Featuring 30 extraordinary hand-made puppets, this ingenious coming-of-age 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. The Natural History Museum is the perfect home for this thrilling production as it 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 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.

The Natural History Museum’s Director of Engagement Clare Matterson says,

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


The production is a tale of exploration and adventure and a thrilling new addition to our autumn offering to visitors. The team bring to life not only Darwin as a young explorer but also through intricate puppetry 30 of the fascinating creatures he met from an Amazonian iguana to an Arctic tern.


Nicholas Paine and David Morton of Dead Puppet Society comment,

Puppets and visual theatre go hand in hand. In a form devoted to using the theatrical elements in such a way that visuals are given the same importance as text, there often comes a time where non-human performers are necessary. We use puppets to expand the possibilities of what can be presented on stage.  During our time in South Africa we were struck by how young Darwin was throughout his time on the Beagle. This man in his early twenties seemed to sit at such odds with the image of the elderly gent with a long grey beard, and we decided we wanted to tell this young man’s story.

Tickets are available to be booked now at, Natural History Museum Members will receive a 10 per cent discount on tickets.

Twitter                            @thewiderearth, @NHM_London, #TheWiderEarth

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