The Wider Earth at the Natural History Museum

Wednesday 29 August 2018

Off-West End - Shows

Casting is announced for the award-winning Darwin drama The Wider Earth which will be playing at the Natural History Museum from 2 October - 30 December 2018.
Darwin drama The Wider Earth to be staged at Natural History Museum

Image: Trish Wadley Productions, Dead Puppet Society

Full casting has now been announced for the award-winning Darwin drama The Wider Earth which stars War Horse actors, Ian Houghton, Andrew Bridgmont and Matt Tait .... as well as some rather stunning puppets!

To accommodate the show at the Natural History Museum, a new 357-seat theatre is being built in the Jerwood Gallery which 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.

The Wider Earth will be at the Natural History Museum from 2 October to 30 December 2018 and tickets are now on sale.

The show is a coming-of-age story that follows a rebellious young Charles Darwin (played by Bradley Foster) who aged only 22, set out on an intrepid five-year voyage on HMS Beagle to distant and exotic lands.

Here's the trailer ...

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 the hugely successful War Horse.

The Wider Earth at the Natural History Museum

Cast of The Wider Earth at the Natural History Museum (courtesy of The Trustees of the Natural History Museum)

The full cast for this ingenious production are:

Ian Houghton (War Horse, New London Theatre; This House, Garrick Theatre and UK Tour; The Audience, Gielgud Theatre)

Andrew Bridgmont (War Horse, National Theatre; Penny Dreadful, Sky Atlantic; Faustus, Headlong Theatre)

Matt Tait (War Horse, National Theatre; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, West End; Dancing at Lughnasa, Lyric Belfast)

Bradley Foster (Common, National Theatre; Lessons in Love and Violence, Royal Opera House; Frequently Asked Questions, New Wolsey Theatre)

Jack Parry-Jones (Moon Dogs, World Pictures; BANG, Joio Production/Artist Studio/S4C; Macbeth, China Plate)

Marcello Cruz (Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare's Globe; The Rook, Lionsgate/Starz)

Melissa Vaughan (Night Must Fall, Salisbury Playhouse/Tour; The City and The City, Mammoth Screen for BBC; Consensual, Wuthering Heights and The Merchant of Venice, West End Rep Season at The Ambassadors Theatre)

Rory Fairbairn (The Importance of Being Earnest, Immersion Theatre; Journey's End, Immersion Theatre/Mesh Theatre Co.; Jekyll and Hyde, Lion and Unicorn Theatre)

Kim Scopes (A Christmas Carol, Sonia Friedman Productions; Newzoids, ITV/Factory; Becca's Brunch, Nick Jr/JAM Media/Factory).

And let's not forget the puppets ...

30 extraordinary hand-made puppets representing the tropical wildlife Darwin encountered on his voyage are as much the stars of the show as the stellar cast who will bring them to life.

From tiny Gal pagos 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.

Nicholas Paine and David Morton of Dead Puppet Society commented ...

"What makes this work special is its unique approach to storytelling, casting talented actors to play famous historical figures, who bring to life an array of incredible creatures through masterful puppetry.

We're thrilled to be working with our original Australian creative team of Composers and Designers to stage The Wider Earth in such an incredible building."

The Wider Earth is presented by Trish Wadley Productions and Dead Puppet Society in association with Glass Half Full Productions.


Join the 22-year-old Darwin on HMS Beagle's daring 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 in the theatrical event of 2018.


Charles Darwin - Bradley Foster

Robert Darwin/Richard Matthews - Ian Houghton

Reverend John Henslow/ Sir John Herschel - Andrew Bridgmont

Robert FitzRoy - Jack Parry-Jones

Jemmy Button - Marcello Cruz

John Clements Wickham/ Adam Sedgwick - Matt Tait

Emma Wedgwood - Melissa Vaughan

Understudy - Rory Fairbairn

Understudy (Emma Wedgwood) - Kim Scopes


Author: David Morton
Composer: Lior, Tony Buchen
Director: David Morton
Designer: David Morton, Aaron Barton
Lighting: David Walters; Lee Curran (UK lighting)
Sound: Tony Brumpton
Projections: Justin Harrison
Dramaturg: Sebastian Born (UK Production Dramaturg), Louise Gough (Australian Production Dramaturg)
Puppetry: Dead Puppet Society
Production: Trish Wadley Productions and Dead Puppet Society in association with Glass Half Full Productions


Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road


From: Tuesday 2 October 2018

Closes: Sunday 24 February 2019


Standard: From £22.50

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Show website
ActDrop full listing for The Wider Earth

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