The story of The Wider Earth will take audiences from the dizzying heights of the Andes to the depths of the Amazon rainforest, through the storms of Tierra del Fuego, to the endless wonders of the Galapagos Islands, and while the sense of creation and theatre will be incredibly visual and at times, jaw-dropping, Morton advises the tale is very much for an adult audience.
The award-winning production, brought home in partnership with Trish Wadley Productions and Glass Half Full Productions, features an ensemble cast, remarkable puppetry, cinematic projections, and an original score by Lior and Tony Buchen, which when combined, bring to life uncharted landscapes and incredible creatures in a highly ambitious theatrical re-telling of one of the most important discoveries in history.
The Wider Earth was originally developed at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York, and is the result of nurturing from all over the globe after Dead Puppet Society spent time working with the genre-breaking Handspring Puppet Company in South Africa and traveling to the Galapagos.
Kicking off Saturday 5 February for a two-week stint at the Princess Theatre, held in conjunction with Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), the national tour marks the show’s first-time home since its world-premiere at the Queensland Theatre Company back in 2016.
Dead Puppet Society Creative Director, David Morton, who penned The Wider Earth, said he and the team are excited to bring the production home. “The Wider Earth is one of our most ambitious bodies of work, it will be interesting to see how different audiences around Australia respond to the production,” he said.
“It’s more than just a reimagining of Darwin’s iconic journey around the world, it’s a coming-of-age story about science and faith, and how one doubting man with a questing heart set out to ask a question of Mother Nature and found the answer to everything,” said Morton.
Since its world premiere, The Wider Earth has wowed audiences from Sydney to London, touted as “Fascinating, insightful and Magical” by UK publication Entertainment Focus, and nominated for the Best Entertainment and Family awarded at the highly globally recognised Olivier Awards in London in 2019.
This tour is part of the UK/Australia Season, a joint initiative between the British Council and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to strengthen and build cultural connections.
“I’m thrilled to support the national tour for The Wider Earth and see family audiences across Australia re-engage with arts and culture face to face,” said Helen Salmon, Season Director and Country Director, Australia from the British Council.
“This is a voyage of extraordinary theatrical discovery that celebrates the power of curiosity, the natural world and big ideas.” – Sydney Morning Herald
Director and Co-Designer: David Morton | Featuring: Tom Conroy, Anthony Standish, Frances Berry, Jaime Ureta, Barbara Lowing, Liesel Zink, Alex Kaan, Kevin Spink, Morgan Francis (understudy), Billy Fogarty (understudy), Robert Coleby (voicover) | Creative Producer: Nicholas Paine | Associate Director: Matt Seery | Co-Designer: Aaron Barton | Composers: Lior and Tony Buchen | Sound Designer: Tony Brumpton | Associate Sound Designer: Brady Watkins | Projection Designer: Justin Harrison | Dramaturg: Louise Gough
The Wider Earth
Princess Theatre, 8 Annerley Road, Woolloongabba (Brisbane)
Season: 10 – 19 February 2022 (previews: 5 – 9 February)
Following the Brisbane season, The Wider Earth embarks on a nationalt tour. For more information and touring schedule, visit: www.deadpuppetsociety.com.au for details.
Image: The Wider Earth – photo by Guy Bell