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]

Game of Thrones Counseling Available for Upset Fans Following Series Finale

Iain Glen and Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones
Iain Glen and Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan, HBO

It’s no surprise that some fans are having a hard time dealing with the fact that Game of Thrones is over. The show ran for eight seasons, and became a huge part of fans's lives and Sunday night routines. Moreover, since the season 8 premiere first aired, fans haven’t been too thrilled with the trajectory of the show, and it has only gotten worse. (The final episode in the series scored the lowest rating in the show’s history on IMDb).

But if you’re having a hard time wrapping your mind around the end of Game of Thrones, or just want to vent, there's a counseling service here just for you. CNN reports that if you go to Bark.com, a UK-based online marketplace, you can find a Game of Thrones counselor who will listen to your every qualm about the show. "The professionals will help them digest their feelings and interpretation of the show, which could range from anger and confusion to sadness and grief," the service description reads.

"We watch them to escape our daily lives and immerse ourselves into the 'unknown,'" Lynette, a counselor from Bark.com, said in a statement regarding people's TV show obsessions. "This is the very reason why we sometimes become addicted to watching them, the stories they tell become part of our identity."

There’s options of booking a 30-minute or 60-minute session, which range from $25 to $51. Fans can choose from a face-to-face session, group session, or online, and can specify which specific problems they’re having regarding the show. 

What do we say to Game of Thrones-related anxiety? Not today!

New Coke is Making a Comeback Thanks to Stranger Things

Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Caleb McLaughlin, Millie Bobby Brown, and Sadie Sink in Stranger Things.
Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Caleb McLaughlin, Millie Bobby Brown, and Sadie Sink in Stranger Things.
Netflix

In what was considered one of the biggest consumer product marketing blunders of all time, the Coca-Cola Company upset devotees of their signature beverage by introducing New Coke in 1985. Sweeter and smoother than the original, people practically revolted over the change, and the drink eventually disappeared from shelves.

In 2019, New Coke is not only resurfacing—it might turn out to be one of the company's savviest marketing moves to date.

CNN reports that Coca-Cola will be producing 500,000 cans of New Coke in collaboration with Netflix to promote season 3 of Stranger Things, the 1980s-set paranormal drama. Cans will be featured on the show in a kind of retro product placement.

Fans can look for the cans online, which will be offered as a free gift with the purchase of two special Coca-Cola Classic or Coke Zero Sugar glass bottles with Stranger Things artwork beginning Thursday. Special vending machines will also be set up in major cities, and visitors to Atlanta's World of Coca-Cola can purchase the product there, too.

The company is using the exact same recipe for New Coke that got them in hot water back in 1985. For many, it will be their first chance to sample the drink that anti-New Coke activist and retiree Gay Mullins described as being "unbelievably wimpy" and tasting like Pepsi (a comment meant to be derogatory). Originally intended to replace Coca-Cola Classic, the drink was eventually rebranded Coke II and sold through 2002.

Coca-Cola anticipates demand will exceed their 500,000 can allotment, which means you're likely to see them pop up on eBay before long.

The new season of Stranger Things premieres July 4.

[h/t CNN]

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