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shows Darwin's Dead Herring

God knits and listens to his favourite tunes whilst His apprentice, the angel Gabriel Darwin, haplessly undermines His 'Creation' plans and ultimately destroys His universe. Mechanical yapping dogs race to impregnate a large pink fluffy bunny. The bunny gives birth to a huge cow-like creature which descends into bunny heaven, turns it into hell and, surprisingly, becomes a man-like creature.

Featuring naked puppets, glitterballs, mechanical sets, transforming stages, musical bunnies, specially composed music and much more - Darwin is a story of evolution, a comic nightmare with a bitter twist.


Darwin's Dead Herring first toured England in 1993 and went on to tour France, Spain, Holland and Switzerland.

Devised, constructed and performed by Gavin Glover and Liz Walker

Music composed and recorded by John Winfield and Chris Weaver.

Initial directional assistance Martin Gent.

With thanks to Yves Vasseur, Steve Wright, Martin Pearson, Steve Tiplady, Philip Neary, Matthew Richardson and Heather McDonough, The Arts Council of England and The British Council.

What the Papers said about Darwin's Dead Herring

The Guardian

Tuesday February 2 1993


Darwin's Dead Herring


Kenneth Rea

AMONG the younger generation of visual theatre companies appearing In the London International Mime Festival, Faulty Optic stands out with an imagination as disturbing as it is original.

On one level, Darwin's Dead Herring plays on the uncertainties of childbirth; on another it suggests that we are but toys to the gods in an evolutionary playground. This is a dimly lit world of dusty contraptions where alien beings set about the dangerous business of creation.

The first batch of puppets is a brood of soft-toyed bunnies who emerge from drawers and boxes playing deconstructed versions of Home Sweet Home and All Things Bright And Beautiful. But eventually a pregnant bunny gives birth to a mutant whom no one wants, and the chain of evolution is thrown into chaos. Towards the end the piece dives into Incoherence, but technically Faulty Optic excels. The puppets are expertly manipulated by Liz Walker and Gavin Glover; the set, also by Glover, is a maze of weird invention and Chris Weaver's music sounds like someone tuning in to all the radio stations of the galaxy.