The Origin of 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 (1809-1882)


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Remarkably inventive, thoroughly entertaining and even quite educational, John Hinton's monologue with music in the guise of Charles Darwin is a show for adults that reminds you what you always wished theatre in schools had been like...This is either an extraordinarily effective piece of teaching, disguised as entertainment, or a delightful entertainment that somehow carries more weight than you'd expect from a solo comic show. In either case, 19th-century science can rarely have been so fascinating and never so much fun.

...a charming show...a must-see...

you can’t fault Hinton’s energy, enthusiasm and blindingly shiny smile, nor the standing ovation he gets from several audience members at the end of the show

This utterly charming show is already packing them into Pleasance Beside...Audiences who know their phenotypes from their genotypes will appreciate every in-joke, but those who don’t will still be thoroughly entertained by this glorious tribute to the man who defied the church, the scientific community and, most bravely of all, his father’s furious frown to change the way we view ourselves (and barnacles) forever.

A great, great show...very funny...a romp with a sophisticated foundation.

Gloriously fun and accessible...A charming load of monkey business that will make you oo-oo-oo out loud!

His performance is simply wonderful to watch

Witty, clever, absurd, the jokes spring out at you when you least expect...Grown-ups will love it. Kids will adore it. A gem.

Hinton brings an endearing, almost boyish zeal to his portrayal of Darwin, and his impersonations of Darwin’s family and friends sparkle with spot-on timing and warmth, showing a comical and human side to the scientist’s life.

A gleeful romp through Darwin’s life story, which respects his work but refuses to take it too seriously...The audience interaction is very well-done...If you want a show with a big title and a big heart to loosen your funny bone for a Fringe afternoon, the charming ‘Origin of Species’ is the natural selection.

The actor playing Darwin, John Hinton, is entertaining beyond all belief... You just can’t resist having a good time.

Edinburgh Fringe 2009:

Adelaide Fringe 2012:

So damn brilliant... If only high school history had been so much fun.

A real strength of this production is the fantastic script; it’s smart and funny, but warm and down-to earth. Combined with the committed and engaging performance of the highly likeable John Hinton, this show is a winner... Who knew evolution could be so funky?

John Hinton is an absolute joy... You can’t help thinking: this guy would get anyone interested in science.

It is possible Hinton delivers the best barnacle song ever to have evolved... Masses of fun, smart, pithy, quirky and classy. A Fringe gem.

It’s like being at a very, very entertaining lecture... carried out convincingly and with humour, energy and a playful disregard for convention.

It’s like being at a very, very entertaining lecture... carried out convincingly and with humour, energy and a playful disregard for convention.


John Hinton is a talent, and like his descent from tall man to convincing ape at the end, his ascent into a writing and performing presence will be quite something.


The show was shortlisted for the ‘BEST THEATRE PRODUCTION’ award, and John Hinton for ‘BEST THEATRE PERFORMER’, at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2012.
A short version of the play came third at the Short & Sweet Theatre Festival in Sydney in 2009.