CREDIT Mark Douet

Darwin drama extended its run at the Jerwood gallery at the Natural History Museum

The Wider Earth is now playing until 24 February 2019.

Following critical and public acclaim, the Darwin drama extends its run at the Jerwood gallery, with extra Sunday performances added.

Now playing until 24 February 2019

The Wider Earth – the critically acclaimed drama about the young Charles Darwin’s expedition on HMS Beagle – currently playing at the custom-built theatre in the Jerwood Gallery at London’s Natural History Museum, has extended its run and will now play until 24 February 2019.

Featuring a cast of seven, and 30 extraordinary hand-crafted 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 Natural History Museum's Director of Engagement Clare Matterson says,

 “We are committed to bringing science to life through exciting collaborations like this with artists - even when this requires the building of a 357-seat traditional performance theatre in one of our galleries! The Wider Earth offers a radically different kind of museum experience. Audiences are transported to the far side of the world with the young Charles Darwin on his first voyage aboard the HMS Beagle - just metres away from both the working scientific laboratories of our Darwin Centre and some of the original specimens he collected on that same voyage in 1831. 

The Wider Earth has had a fantastic reception and helped attract new audiences to the Museum so we are delighted to be able to extend its performance run and allow more people to see this captivating drama.”

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 creative team behind War Horse.

“Handspring Puppet Company is very proud of Dead Puppet Society for pioneering their production The Wider Earth at the Natural History Museum in London, a concept which was conceived during their time with us in South Africa several years ago. Since then it’s been fantastic to see their work and their influence rapidly spreading to three continents: Australia, America and Europe. Dead Puppet Society are inspiring leaders in the next generation of puppeteers!”

- Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler, Handspring Puppet Company

Following sold-out seasons in Brisbane and Sydney, The Wider Earth has found the perfect home at 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 is 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.

The Wider Earth has a limited ‘Kids Go Free’ offer, to allow the next generation to learn more about this iconic character and one of the most important voyages in scientific history. Bookable via the show’s website: https://thewiderearth.com/

The Museum’s scientists, led by paleobiologist Professor Adrian Lister, author of Darwin’s Fossils, have worked closely with the creative producers of the show to ensure it is rooted in authenticity.

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 cutting edge 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 Wider Earth is presented by Trish Wadley Productions, Dead Puppet Society and Glass Half Full Productions.

For further information, interviews and images please contact:
arabella.neville-rolfe@target-live.co.uk [0207 052 1301] www.target-live.co.uk 

LISTINGS / NOTES TO EDITORS

Location: Jerwood Gallery at the Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington, London SW7 5BD.

Patrons who will be attending the evening show will be able to access the building through the Queen’s Gate entrance. 

How to get there: The nearest tube station is South Kensington on the District, Piccadilly and Circle lines. The station is approximately five minutes’ walk from the Museum's Exhibition Road entrance. Gloucester Road station also services the above tube lines and is approximately 5 minutes' walk from the Queen's Gate entrance.

Bus routes 14, 49, 70, 74, 345, 360, 414, 430 and C1 stop close to the Museum.

Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes including interval

Tickets from £19.50

Twitter   @thewiderearth, @NHM_London, #TheWiderEarth

Dead Puppet Society

Dead Puppet Society is a visual theatre and design company based between Brisbane and New York City. Their most recent production Laser Beak Man (with Brisbane Festival and La Boite) premiered following a two year residency at The New Victory Theater in New York City. The Wider Earth was initially developed at St. Ann's Warehouse and Lincoln Centre, premiered with Queensland Theatre and transferred to the Sydney Opera House for Sydney Festival. Prior to this, the Society worked with Handspring Puppet Company (War Horse) in South Africa and created Argus (Lincoln Center, Kravis Center Florida, Australian National Tour). Previous works include The Harbinger (La Boite Theatre Company Australian National Tour), The Timely Death Of Victory Blott (Metro Arts) and Little Grey Wolf (Brisbane Festival and Adelaide Fringe. The Society has received several awards from The Jim Henson Foundation for the creation of new work and was awarded the Gold Matilda Award in 2017 for their body of work in 2016. They have recently been nominated for six Helpmann Awards for The Wider Earth and Laser Beak Man. 

Trish Wadley Productions

Trish Wadley spent 20 years working internationally in media before moving to theatre and has worked at the Bush Theatre and Tricycle Theatre. For Defibrillator, as Executive Producer, she has produced A Lie Of The Mind (Southwark Playhouse) Speech & Debate (Trafalgar Studios); The Hotel Plays (Grange Hotel and Langham, London); Hard Feelings and The One Day of the Year (Finborough); The Armour (Langham, London) and Insignificance (Langham Place, New York). As producer: Burning Bridges (Theatre503). As co-producer: Olivier-nominated The Red Lion (Trafalgar Studios) and My Night With Reg (Apollo Theatre). Trish is a Stage One Bursary recipient and director of The Uncertainty Principle.  She is also a founder of The Australian & New Zealand Festival of Literature & Arts (FANZA).

Glass Half Full Productions

Glass Half Full Productions is a London-based production company, managed by Gareth Lake and founded by Gareth and Adam Blanshay. UK credits include: 9 to 5: The Musical, Pinter at the Pinter, The Wider Earth, King Lear, Caroline or Change, Glengarry Glen Ross, Daisy Pulls It Off, Oslo, Hamlet, Dreamgirls, Buried Child, Funny Girl, The End of Longing, The Spoils, Doctor Faustus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Christmas Carol, Mack and Mabel, Made in Dagenham, Sunny Afternoon (Winner of four 2015 Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical), The Nether, Shrek UK Tour, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, I Can’t Sing, Ghost Stories, 1984, Ghosts (Winner of three 2014 Olivier Awards, including Best Revival), Mojo. Broadway and US credits include: Network, The Lightning Thief (US National Tour), Groundhog Day, Sunday in the Park with George, Living on Love, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Broadway and National Tour), the Globe transfer of Twelfth Night/Richard III. International credits include: Muriel’s Wedding the Musical, Matilda and My Fair Lady in Australia and Blue Man Group World Tour. The GHF team is made up of Gareth Lake (Producer and Co-Founder), Clemmie Forfar (Associate Producer and General Manager), Pamela Jahn (Executive Assistant) and Rebecca Vaa (Production Assistant) in London, and Victoria Weinberg (Associate Producer) and Patrick Roberts (Development Associate) in New York.

The Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum exists to inspire a love of the natural world and unlock answers to the big issues facing humanity and the planet. It is a world-leading science research centre, and through its unique collection and unrivalled expertise it is tackling issues such as food security, eradicating diseases and managing resource scarcity. The Natural History Museum is the most visited natural history museum in Europe and the top science attraction in the UK; we welcome more than 4.5 million visitors each year and our website receives over 500,000 unique visitors a month. People come from around the world to enjoy our galleries and events and engage both in person and online with our science and learning activities through innovative programmes such as citizen science and family festivals. www.nhm.ac.uk 

Contact

Weekdays: +44 (0)20 7942 5654
Evenings and weekends:
+44 (0)7799 690 151
Email: press@nhm.ac.uk