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 Species...by 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

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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’ ***** (BroadwayBaby.com). **** (Scotsman). **** (WhatsOnStage.com). www.tangramtheatre.co.uk

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