The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Survival of (R)Evolutionary Theories in the Face of Scientific and Ecclesiastical Objections: Being a Musical Comedy About Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

You can always tell a show is going to be good when its name takes up most of the free space on a ticket. The Origin of means of natural selection or the survival of (r)evolutionary theories in the face of scientific ecclesiastical objections: Being a musical comedy about Charles Darwin (1809-1882) is not only a mouthful, it’s a feast for the eyes and ears. Following the life of the legendary naturalist and father of modern evolutionary biology, the wonderfully wild-eyed John Hinton sings, dances and grimaces his way through the formation of the theory of Natural Selection, pulling no punches when it comes to aping Darwin and his contemporaries for great comic effect.

Origin of Species isn’t just concerned with biology: Hinton’s physical energy and audience chemistry are nearly scientific marvels on their own.

Hinton’s skill at lightning-change physical comedy is sublime: watching him change between two characters is as snappy and crisp as watching a cartoon dance around the stage. But it’s not all just for kids - in fact, far from it. In a packed audience of ages between seven and eighty-two, there were plenty of laughs to go around - from absurd dances and weird faces to brilliantly unflinching innuendos and visual gags.Whilst it is sometimes clear that Hinton’s vocal range cannot keep up with the wild energy of his songs, he covers it well - although some of the pieces feel weaker than the rest of the show, others are real highlights. This is especially potent when combined with his talent at playing an audience as well as the guitar; interaction is the order of the day in the Darwin household, and it never feels forced or unneeded.

This show promises a humorous afternoon for all ages and all levels of familiarity with science: everyone’s sure to find at least a few big laughs in the exhaustive catalogue of jokes. Origin of Species isn’t just concerned with biology: Hinton’s physical energy and audience chemistry are nearly scientific marvels on their own. 

Reviews by J W Close

C venues - C nova


Greenside @ Nicolson Square

That Deadly Noir Magic

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

The Canterbury Tales

theSpace on the Mile

The King of Monte Cristo

theSpace @ Symposium Hall

Messages from Japan / Super-cussion


Gary Colman: Tickling Mice


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Discover how Charles Darwin came to formulate his remarkable theory in this internationally acclaimed show packed with big ideas, terrible puns, physical comedy and cracking original songs. Bring your monkeys and get evolved! ‘Science can rarely have been so fascinating and never so much fun’ (Stage Must See). ‘Grown-ups will love it. Kids will adore it. A gem’ ***** ( **** (Scotsman). **** (

Most Popular See More

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets