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The Origin of Species... etc.
Published on Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Yes, yes, we know; the Darwin zeitgeist is just so last year.  But here’s an unusual reason to celebrate the two-hundred-and-first anniversary of the great scientist’s birth: Brighton local John Hinton’s bringing his one-man musical comedy back home, after an acclaimed sell-out run at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe.


FringeGuru’s editor Richard Stamp deemed this show “the silliest thing he’d seen” in 2009, and he meant that in entirely positive way.  It’s a gleeful romp through Darwin's life story, which respects his work but refuses to take it too seriously; it’s stuffed full of appalling puns and it plays fast and loose with history, but the science behind it is all real.

And of course, there are songs.  In this parallel version of Darwin's life, theories are written as musical score, and the great man himself learned just two things at school: Latin and classical guitar.  This bizarrely ingenious conceit sets the stage for a smattering of musical numbers, which raise a giggle even though – or, more likely, because – the rhymes and metre are so gratuitously poor.

If it’s like the Edinburgh version, there’ll be a good deal of audience interaction too, with amusing demonstrations informatively illustrating the nuts and bolts of Darwin’s work.  So, if you want a show with a big heart and the skill to both educate and entertain… the charming Origin Of Species is the natural selection.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2010.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.