Timberlake Wertenbaker’s brain-teasing play addresses the ruling metaphor of our times: the survival of the fittest.
Play title: After Darwin
Author (s): Timberlake, Wertenbaker
Publisher: Dramatic Publishing Company
Publication Date: 1999
Primary Discipline: Biology
Secondary Discipline: Evolutionary Theory
Charles Darwin – As an English naturalist, geologist, and biologist he is best known for his work towards the science of evolution.
Robert Fitzroy – British scientist who sailed with Charles Darwin around the world. Their trips contributed towards Darwin’s discoveries about evolution.
Source Texts: Unknown
Character Breakdown: Robert FitzRoy, Millie, Ian, Tom, Lawrence
Time Period: Mid 1800’s & Present Day
Synopsis of Play: Timberlake Wertenbaker’s brain-teasing play addresses the ruling metaphor of our times: the survival of the fittest. She does it in the most direct way possible, by dramatizing development of Darwin’s ideas on the origins and survival of species during his voyage on the Beagle in the 1830’s and the conflict between him and FitzRoy, his captain and a literalist believer in the Bible. But the metaphor is underlined by casting this as a play within a play, where the actor playing Darwin has no interest beyond personal survival and the actor playing FitzRoy is weakened by principle. Their rehearsals are directed by an East-European refugee who knows more about survival than they ever will. (Sunday Times, London)
First Performance Date: July 8th, 1998
First Producer: Hampstead Theater, London
Performance History: The world premiere production was directed by Lindsay Posner with the Set Design by Joanna Parker, Lighting Design by Peter Mumford, Sound Design by John A. Leonard and Assistant Director was Adam Rush. The cast included Jason Watkins, Michael Feast, Ingeborga Dapkunaite and Colin Salmon.
Entered by: Denise Gillman / Brooke Sanders
Photo Source: Andrew Cissna