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The Wider Earth: GHF Navigates New Waters

Glass Half Full Productions are extremely excited to announce that we will be co-producing the European debut of The Wider Earth, alongside Trish Wadley Productions and the Dead Puppet Society, in a ground-breaking move for UK theatre.

The Wider Earth by David Morton is an award-winning drama about the early life of Charles Darwin his historic voyage aboard the survey ship HMS Beagle.

In a ground-breaking move for UK theatre, the European premiere of the production will be staged at the Natural History Museum, in a new purpose built performance space in the Jerwood Gallery. This will be the first time ever a theatre has been constructed in the museum – one of the world’s most iconic buildings.

THE WIDER EARTH

Following sold-out seasons in Brisbane and the Sydney Opera House, The Wider Earth finds the perfect home at the proud custodian of Charles Darwin’s legacy, the Natural History Museum.

Written by Dead Puppet Society Artistic Director David Morton, it’s a coming-of-age story about science and faith, and how one ‘gentleman naturalist’ set out to ask a question of Mother Nature, and found the answer to everything.

With an array of astonishing puppets breathing life into creatures great and small – from the tiniest longhorn beetle to the majestic southern right whale and the ancient Galapagos Tortoise – The Wider Earth recounts the tales of scientific visionary Charles Darwin’s 5 year voyage on the HMS Beagle.

Audiences are taken on a magical journey with the curious naturalist, from the dizzying heights of the Andes to the depths of the Amazon rainforest, through the storms of Tierra del Fuego, to the endless wonders of the Galapagos Islands. We follow Darwin’s expedition as uncharted landscapes unfold in a series of dazzling animations and original illustrations from the Voyage.

The idea for The Wider Earth was conceived during a residency in Cape Town in 2013 with the Handspring Puppet Company – the creative team behind War Horse. 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.

No praise could be too high for The Wider Earth… Fighting back tears at the end, one comes away from this enormously impressive reimagining of the Charles Darwin story moved not just by the magnitude of the theatrical stakes but by the sincerity, humility and, best of all, clarity of the storytelling (The Australian).

“A brilliant, groundbreaking production…a sharp, funny, and honest script (The Spectator).

CHARLES DARWIN

“The voyage of the Beagle has been by far the most important event in my life and has determined my whole career”

Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882) was an English naturalist and geologist, widely recognised for his groundbreaking contribution to evolution theory.

In 1831, aged just 22, Darwin was recommended for a spot aboard the HMS Beagle, a ship commanded by Captain Robert Fitzroy. During the extended five year voyage, Darwin wrote copious notes and collected a variety of natural specimens, including birds, plants and fossils and returned to England in 1836 as a luminary in scientific circles.

It was not until many years later that his radical theories around natural selection were published in On The Origin of Species in 1859.

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

The Natural History Museum is a world leading scientific research centre and one of the UK’s most popular visitor attractions, with more than five million people enjoying its galleries, exhibitions, events and education programmes every year.

Behind-the-scenes more than 350 scientists and students are using the Museum Collection for research into some of the biggest challenges facing our species with some of this work taking place in the new Darwin Centre, the Museum’s life sciences complex.

Darwin’s specimens are of huge importance to the Museum collection, including nearly 700 bird skins collected on the Voyage of HMS Beagle and a rare first edition of On the Origin of Species, one of the most important works of scientific literature ever written.

Tickets and further information on the Natural History Museum production are available here.

Production Photos from the Queensland Theatre

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