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Cambridge University Library

Mr. Darwin's Tree for the Cambridge Festival 2023

Cambridge University Libraries present Mr. Darwin's Tree, the one-man play about Charles Darwin written and directed by Murray Watts and starring Andrew Harrison, which will be staged at Emmanuel College.

Hailed at the Edinburgh Festival as “an elegantly conceived, clever and highly informative performance, overflowing with gentle humor and charm” ("Three Weeks"), the play explores the life and work of Charles Darwin within the contexts of science, faith and family. Mr. Darwin’s Tree was originally commissioned to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and was premiered in Westminster Abbey. The play has been performed in many countries, including China, South Korea, and throughout the US. 

Cambridge University Libraries holds the largest collection of Darwin manuscripts, including his scientific papers and thousands of his letters. Items from the recent exhibition, Darwin in Conversation (which will transfer to New York Public Library in May 2023) can be viewed here:

Murray Watts is best known as a playwright and screenwriter. He studied English Literature and the History of Art at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he began writing and directing for the theatre. His work as a writer in TV, radio, film and theatre has won awards and received critical acclaim, including The Fatherland for Bush Theatre (which he later adapted as The Monday Play for BBC Radio 4). The King’s Head Theatre in London staged a season of four of his plays, throughout January 2012, including Mr. Darwin’s Tree. He is also the founder and director of The Wayfarer Trust, an international arts charity.

Andrew Harrison has worked in film, TV, theatre and radio for over forty years. His theatre credits include Glyn and It, Blue Murder and Trelawny of the Wells. In film: An Ideal Husband, Dorian Grey, The Sea Change and A Little Loving. And for TV: The Life of Pepys, Miss Marple, You Rang M’Lord? The Bill, Birds of a Feather, Beyond Narnia and Summer in Transylvania. Andrew is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s drama department. This is his seventh collaboration with Murray Watts in a solo show. 

Location: Emmanuel College, Queen's Lecture Theatre, Cambridge

Accessibility: Hearing loop; disabled access. 

Registration: Booking is essential - tickets are free. CLICK HERE TO BOOK

Date: Thursday 23rd March 2023

7.30pm to 8.45pm