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]

Stranger Things Fans Can Now Buy a 6-Foot-Tall Demogorgon Sprinkler

BigMouth Inc., Amazon
BigMouth Inc., Amazon

Some fans watch a show and then talk about it. Others create art inspired by it. Others develop far-out theories. But sometimes, fans go even further than that—like when pool accessory company BigMouth Inc. revealed its massive Stranger Things-inspired, inflatable Demogorgon sprinkler, which is now available for any fan to purchase.

The sprinkler, the perfect gift for those wishing to combine their love of sci-fi monstrosities and thorough lawn irrigation, stands 6 feet tall and can be connected to any standard hose, allowing it to spurt water from its horrifying open face, according to House Beautiful. And for fans thinking it can only be found in the far corners of the internet, fear not: the sprinkler is available now at Target and on Amazon.

If you want a less flashy way to show off your Stranger Things fandom this summer, BigMouth Inc. also sells a plethora of other novelty items based on the show, like an Upside Down-themed pool tube, Scoops Ahoy floating cupholders, and a float based on one of Eleven’s trademark waffles. (See all the options on Amazon here.)

This marks the latest in a series of collaborations for the hugely successful Netflix series. Prior to its release, Stranger Things teamed with both H&M and Nike to release clothing and shoes inspired by the series. It also collaborated with Coca-Cola to produce a limited edition collection of New Coke cans inspired by a moment in the third season.

We’re glad there’s a plethora of Stranger Things merchandise available, even the terrifying Demogorgon sprinkler—it sounds just ridiculous enough to buy right away. It's available at Target or Amazon for $100.

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Three Major Game of Thrones Stars Submitted Themselves for Emmys After HBO Chose Not To

Gwendoline Christie and Maisie Williams in Game of Thrones.
Gwendoline Christie and Maisie Williams in Game of Thrones.
Helen Sloan/Courtesy of HBO

HBO dominated the 2019 Emmy nominations, which were announced earlier this week, with a record-breaking 32 nominations for Game of Thrones's highly contentious final season alone.

Ten of Game of Thrones's nominations came via the acting categories, several of which were hardly surprising: Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke landed nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress in a Drama Series, respectively. Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams will compete against each other in the Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress categories. What did come as a surprise, however, were the first-time nominations for Alfie Allen, Gwendoline Christie, and Carice van Houten—not because they didn’t deserve them, but because HBO didn't submit them for consideration.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO confirmed that the network did not enter the three actors for consideration by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This means that the actors’ representatives shelled out the $225 entry fees themselves.

While this might seem unfair, self-submissions are a pretty common practice. As Game of Thrones has many, many characters, all of them played by great actors, it's simply not possible for the network to enter every one of them. As it stands now, four of the six nominees for Outstanding Supporting Actress are Game of Thrones co-stars (van Houten was nominated in the Guest Actress category), while three of the Outstanding Supporting Actor nominees are from Westeros.

Whether they made it onto the official ballot because of HBO or not, Game of Thrones fans are ecstatic that Allen, Christie, and van Houten are finally getting the Emmy recognition they deserve. Can one of them triumph? We'll just have to wait until September 22 to find out.

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