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]

Golden Girls Prayer Candles Are a Great Way to Say 'Thank You for Being a Friend'

Amazon
Amazon

Golden Girls fans have a new piece of kitschy memorabilia to add to their collections. These prayer candles, featuring all four of the leading ladies, make the perfect gift for devoted followers of the show.

The set comes with four candles depicting each of the Girls: Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, and Sophia. Standing 8 inches tall, they come with enough wax to burn for 100 hours. The pack of four is available for a total price of $60 on Amazon.

Shopping for the Golden Girls fan in your life should be easy this holiday season. If pop culture prayer candles aren't their thing, you could buy them Golden Girls Monopoly, socks, or even Funko Pops inspired by the beloved sitcom. And if they'd appreciate something even more offbeat, this Halloween-themed "Golden Ghouls" shirt should do the trick.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

The First Full Trailer for The Crown Season 3 Is Here

Des Willie, Netflix
Des Willie, Netflix

Star Wars obsessives aren't the only people in for a trailer treat today: Nearly two years after the second season of The Crown debuted, the award-winning series about the early days of Queen Elizabeth II's reign is just weeks away from its return. And on Monday morning, Netflix released the first full trailer for The Crown's new season.

While we've known some of the basic details about the new season—like the time frame in which it takes place and that Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies would be taking over the roles of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip—this is the first in-depth glimpse we've gotten at what's in store for season 3.

The role duty plays in the lives of the British royal family appears to be an overarching theme, with the trailer showing the country in distress but each of the characters putting on a smiling face for the public. While Elizabeth and Philip's relationship will continue to take center stage in the pricey period drama, Princess Margaret (now played by Helena Bonham Carter) will struggle with her role of being the Queen's sister. And Prince Charles (Josh O'Connor) will have to choose between his love for Camilla Parker Bowles (played by Killing Eve writer Emerald Fennell) and his duty as the heir apparent to the throne.

Netflix will debut The Crown season 3 on November 17, 2019.

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