A Puppet Drama About Charles Darwin Is Coming to London's Natural History Museum

Prudence Upton,  © Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London (2018)
Prudence Upton, © Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London (2018)

For Charles Darwin fans, London's Natural History Museum is the place to be. The institution boasts the world's largest collection of works by and about Darwin, as well as a selection of some of the specimens he collected on his historic travels. And soon, The Guardian reports, that will include a work of drama—a puppet show about the famed naturalist's coming of age.

Using 30 different puppets and seven actors, The Wider Earth tells the coming-of-age story of Darwin, who set out on his voyage on the HMS Beagle when he was just 22 years old. His five-year experience sailing around the world on the ship helped develop his groundbreaking theories on evolution. The play illustrates his journey in part through some of the original illustrations made on his voyage. The puppets include representations of animals Darwin saw, like a giant Galapagos tortoise, an Amazonian iguana, and an Arctic tern.

The two-hour play, aimed at adult audiences, will run from October 2 to December 30, 2018 at the Natural History Museum in London.

Actors onstage during 'The Wider Earth'
Prudence Upton, © Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London (2018)

It's an appropriate venue for a work about the naturalist. In order to reach the performance space, audiences will have to pass by the museum's Darwin Center, which houses 22 million zoological specimens. Some of those specimens include ones Darwin collected in the 1830s while on the Beagle.

"During this expedition, Charles Darwin collected the specimens that would inspire his theory of evolution and change how we understand the world—specimens we still house at the Museum and continue to make available for global scientific research," as the Natural History Museum's Clare Matterson explained in a press release about the play.

Following its 2016 world premiere in Australia, this will be the play's first European production. It's also the first time that the Natural History Museum has constructed a performance theater within its halls. It's turning its Jerwood Gallery into a 357-seat theater to stage the play.

[h/t The Guardian]

How Much Is Game of Thrones Author George RR Martin Worth?

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

by Dana Samuel

Unsurprisingly, Game of Thrones took home another Emmy Award earlier this week for Outstanding Drama Series, which marked the series' third time winning the title. Of course, George RR Martin—the author who wrote the books that inspired the TV show, and the series' executive producer—celebrated the victory alongside ​the GoT cast.

For anyone who may be unfamiliar with Martin's work, he is the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, which is the epic fantasy series that lead to the Game of Thrones adaptation. Basically, we really we have him to thank for this seven-year roller coaster we've been on.

At 70 years old (his birthday was yesterday, September 20th), Martin has had a fairly lengthy career as an author, consisting of a number of screenplays and TV pilots before A Song of Ice and Fire, which, ​according to Daily Mail he wrote in the spirit of The Lord of the Rings.

 Cast and crew of Outstanding Drama Series winner 'Game of Thrones' pose in the press room during the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Martin sold the rights to his A Song of Ice and Fire series in 2007, and he truly owes the vast majority of his net worth to the success of his novels and the Game of Thrones TV series. So how much exactly is this acclaimed author worth? According to Daily Mail, Martin makes about $15 million annually from the TV show, and another $10 million from his successful literary works.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, that makes Martin's net worth about $65 million.

Regardless of his millions, Martin still lives a fairly modest life, and it's clear he does everything for his love of writing.

We'd like to extend a personal thank you to Martin for creating one of the most exciting and emotionally jarring storylines we've ever experienced.
We wish Game of Thrones could go ​on for 13 seasons, too!

The '90s PBS Shows We're Still Talking About Online, Mapped

Were you a Barney kid or an Arthur kid? Or maybe you were obsessed with the Teletubbies instead? Or maybe you're still that kid inside, off making PBS memes as an adult. You're never too old to appreciate public television's kids programming, if the recent box office success of the Mister Rogers documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor? is any indication.

Knowing that today's adults still have a soft spot in their hearts for the PBS shows of their childhoods, the telecom sales agent CenturyLinkQuote.com used Google Trends to figure out what kind of impact different kids' series had on each state. They created the map above, showing the most talked-about PBS Kids show in every state over the last 14 years.

According to this data, the Midwest is all about Reading Rainbow, Sesame Street is big in New Jersey and Delaware, and Wishbone reigns in the Southwest. Mister Rogers, despite his status as a TV icon, only dominates in Pennsylvania. The short-lived Canadian-American show Zoboomafoo makes a surprisingly strong showing, coming in as the favorite in four different states despite only having two seasons.

Did your favorite make the list?

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