'In this way I shall preserve many things that would otherwise be lost in oblivion. I shall find daily employment for myself, which will save me from indolence and help to keep off the spleen, and I shall lay up a store of entertainment for my after life.'

For James Boswell posts please follow the labels on the right.

This blog mainly contains reviews from the Edinburgh Festivals from 2008 to 2010 which I wrote for the Edinburgh Festivals Magazine. These reviews cover everything from comedy to contemporary dance; children's theatre to Handel.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Survival Review

Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Survival of (R)evolutionary Theories in the face of Scientific and Ecclesiastical Objections: being a Musical Comedy about Charles Darwin.  

Being 200 years since Darwin’s birth and 150 since the publication of the Origin of Species not surprisingly someone has decided to put the Magnum Opus into song format. It’s extraordinary that, for such an expansive subject one can actually fit it into the bunker like conditions of the Pleasance Beside ‘theatre’.

The show has a few songs, all strung out on an acoustic guitar. It’s reasonably entertaining, although as any child who has watched Blue Peter will tell you, the show which attempts to balance education and humour walks a precarious line between entertainment and tedium.

The performance also highlights the increasing tendency of young Britons to fetishise their islands gilded imperial past. Only in an ironic way. Of course. It’s a trend with deifies the likes of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, and revels in pointless verbosity and strung out titles. It’s all becoming a bit tired however.

Nevertheless Darwin was definitely crying out for someone to put his Origin of Species to music. I await the Principia Mathematica the Musical! with bated breath. Nothing to go ape about here though.

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