Prepare your quills and quieten down up the back – it's time for a science lesson! From barnacley beginnings to an ape-mazing* finale, John Hinton is a madman of good natured enthusiasm, energy, and talent armed with an acoustic guitar and a delightful beard.
In what was the first Scientrilogy instalment, Hinton shares his infectious zeal for the eminent scientist Charles Darwin. As a scientist myself, I know how dry science and scientific literature can be: a point made by Hinton in reference to the exceedingly specific and lengthy titles given to many of Darwin's works. Scientists and scientific educators everywhere could learn a lot from Hinton – he makes science fun!
While Origin of Species is overflowing with audience antics, hilarious songs, and endless delight, it also has a scientific level of legitimacy that genuinely pleases me. Who else at the Fringe can say their shows have been peer reviewed by Sussex University to ensure historical and scientific precision? It may be the scientist in me, but that sort of dedication is very appealing. Although it could have been the bit where he was on all fours in front of me, removing articles of my clothing—
—Ok, ok, so the monkey version on him stole my shoe. But it's still better than some dates I've previously had, so I'll take it.
Facts and figures aside, the story is less one of Darwinian science and more about how Charles the person became the Charles Darwin we know. It's a beautiful, humanising glimpse into the man behind the science.
All in all, this is a show that is 100% worth seeing if you love science, flawless theatrical storytelling, and you don't mind if a monkey steals your shoe. Or, you know, if you're human.
*I know – with pearlers like that, I need my own Fringe show next year.