Darwin Vexed

Do we live in an age of rage? And if so, what can we learn about our furious feelings, and how to control them, from the experiences and ideas of great thinkers in the past? Those are the questions explored in a pair of thought-provoking and darkly funny new audio dramas by playwright Craig Baxter, commissioned by the Living With Feeling project at Queen Mary University of London’s Centre for the History of the Emotions, and directed and produced by Natalie Steed.

In DARWIN VEXED, Charles Darwin elicits the help of his love-struck daughter Henrietta, her dog Polly and flamboyant photographer Oscar Rejlander to put the finishing touches to his latest book, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872). The challenge for them all is how to capture and control their powerful but fleeting emotions.

CAST: Charles Darwin is played by Michael Bertenshaw, Henrietta by Jasmine Hyde, Oscar Rejlander by Geoffrey Streatfeild, and his wife Mary by Karina Fernandez. And introducing Olly as Polly, Henrietta Darwin’s terrier.

Produced and directed by Natalie Steed.
Recorded by David Chilton and Lucinda Mason Brown.

Did you like this episode, or did it fill you with rage? Let us know what you thought by contacting us at @emotionshistory, or email emotions@qmul.ac.uk.

The Emotions Lab