Home / Comment / In brief

Mr Darwin's Tree premiere

Mr Darwin's Tree premiere

Tonight, the world premiere of Mr Darwin's Tree was performed in Westminster Abbey, the burial place of the 19th century English naturalist.

The play, written by award winning screenwriter Murray Watts and starring actor Andrew Harrison, has been commissioned by theology think tank, Theos, as part of its Rescuing Darwin project which has been running throughout 2009.

Commenting on the play, Director of Theos, Paul Woolley said:

"Mr Darwin's Tree is an outstanding addition to the many events that have taken place throughout this, the double anniversary year of Charles Darwin's life and seminal work. 

"A powerful and deeply moving piece of theatre, the play explores Darwin's questions about his science, himself, God and suffering, creating an intimate portrait of the man, his life and his work.   

"Murray Watts has done a magnificent job in ensuring that the play offers a faithful depiction of Darwin, drawing deeply on his diaries and correspondence, to get underneath the skin of the scientist."

Following the play, the audience attended a drinks reception in Poets' Corner of the Abbey. The play will now go on tour throughout the UK. For information about forthcoming dates, click here.

During 2009, Theos has been running a major events and publications programme to 'rescue' Charles Darwin from the crossfire of a theological battle in which he had little personal interest.

In May, 800 people attended Westminster Abbey for a Theos debate entitled 'Did Darwin kill God?' The event, chaired by the Today programme's Sarah Montague, explored the compatibility of belief in God and Darwinian evolution. On the panel were Lord Winston, Professor Steve Jones, Dr Denis Alexander, and Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell.

Elizabeth Oldfield

Elizabeth Oldfield

Elizabeth is host of The Sacred podcast. She was Theos’ Director from August 2011 – July 2021. She appears regularly in the media, including BBC One, Sky News, and the World Service, and writing in The Financial Times.

Watch, listen to or read more from Elizabeth Oldfield

Posted 11 August 2011

Evolution, Darwin


See all


See all

In the news

See all


See all

Get regular email updates on our latest research and events.

Please confirm your subscription in the email we have sent you.

Want to keep up to date with the latest news, reports, blogs and events from Theos? Get updates direct to your inbox once or twice a month.

Thank you for signing up.