After Darwin, Timberlake Wertenbaker



Title: After Darwin

Author: Timberlake Wertenbaker

Typology: Drama

Language: English

Year: 1998

Publisher: Faber & Faber Ltd.


Synopsis: The scene is set: it’s 1831 and the naturalist Charles Darwin is invited to travel with Robert FitzRoy into unchartered waters off the coast of South America aboard The Beagle. So far, so factual. But for Millie, Ian and Tom, getting to grips with a 1998 stage version of events includes uncovering the polarities both in and between their own lives. The exploration of nineteenth-century philosophical tensions, with the staunch solidity of FitzRoy’s christian ideals sparring with Darwin’s slowly dawning radical vision, provokes unsuspected emotions in the present-day director and actors.

How is it possible to look back and reach within oneself for meaning when belief has been replaced by a void? What place has personal commitment in a haphazard world?

Timberlake Wertenbaker’s absorbing play slides a scalpel beneath the surface of emotions and beliefs and looks at how we live with one another in a society conditioned by evolution.