The Wider Earth – the critically acclaimed drama about the young Charles Darwin’s expedition on HMS Beagle playing at the custom-built theatre in the Jerwood Gallery at London’s Natural History Museum until 24 February – will hold a special VIP Gala Night on 12 February 2019. The gala, hosted by Julia Bradbury, will be held to celebrate Charles Darwin’s 210th birthday, and will support The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and the production’s official charitable partner The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.
Trish Wadley, on behalf of the producers of The Wider Earth, said, “as an Australian production with a global view, we are thrilled to support a Commonwealth initiative that encourages multiple nations to join together and create a meaningful green footprint on the planet for future generations.”
Julia Bradbury, best known for presenting BBC’s Countryfile and ITV’s Britain’s Best Walks and a forthcoming series Julia Bradbury’s Australia, is a passionate advocate for the conservation of the natural world, and a tireless campaigner against plastic pollution. She said, “I am thrilled to be hosting The Wider Earth’s gala night. This theatrical celebration of discovery is a testament to the beauty of nature, and a reminder of our duty to protect the landscapes and wildlife that Charles Darwin loved so much.”
Tickets include a pre-show reception and are now available on request by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 25th January.
The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy is a unique network of forest conservation initiatives that marks Her Majesty The Queen’s service to the Commonwealth and conserves indigenous forests across the globe. Through their voluntary commitment to this pan-Commonwealth initiative, the nations of the Commonwealth are acting together to address climate change and protect habitats and biodiversity for the future. QCC partner Cool Earth is an award-winning UK-based charity that works alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction.
Project Coordinator Sophie Kisnorbo commented,
“The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy is honoured to have been chosen as The Wider Earth's official charitable partner. It is a real privilege to work with The Wider Earth to continue Darwin's legacy.”
The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust uses its network, platform and experience, together with the collaborative input of like-minded foundations and supporters, to enable young leaders to realise their dreams and hopes for the future. They are a platform for young change-makers across the Commonwealth, and a place where smart ideas are shared, sparking inspiration, and more and more people feel motivated and enabled to step up and take action – no matter how small. They find and fund young people whose bright ideas solve local problems in education, health, the environment and sport. They support those who have set up their own not-for-profit organisations, as well as those who are leading projects that help others. With the young people they work with, they aim to create a network where mentorship, resources and skills are shared. Their work demonstrates the values of the Commonwealth in action, through the leadership, energy and optimism of its young people.
Featuring a cast of seven people 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. 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.
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 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 Wider Earth is presented by Trish Wadley Productions, Dead Puppet Society and Glass Half Full Productions.
The Wider Earth is a partnership project between Trish Wadley Productions, Dead Puppet Society, Glass Half Full Productions in association with Queensland Theatre and the Natural History Museum.