Kandinsky – the acclaimed theatre-makers who blend extensive research with innovative storytelling and devising techniques – will premiere a brand-new show at New Diorama Theatre this February.
Dinomania tells the true story of Gideon Mantell, a country doctor outside of the 19th century scientific elite, who nonetheless worked tirelessly to reconstruct the structure and life of the Iguanodon, beginning the scientific study of dinosaurs as we now know it. Mantell discovered several of the first dinosaurs, but it was another scientist, Richard Owen, who grouped them together and named them dinosauria.
Owen garnered huge success and acclaim, becoming known as ‘the man who discovered dinosaurs’ and going on to found the Natural History Museum – but his hostility towards progressive science, driven by religious conservatism, and his aggressive rivalry with Mantell, have made him an ambiguous figure in scientific history.
Performed by an energetic ensemble cast, Dinomania will look beyond the story’s 19th century setting to speak to modern concerns around access to science and who gets to drive progress, as well as exploring humanity’s relationship to death, extinction and climate change.
The show is directed and co-written by James Yeatman (also an associate director for legendary theatre company Complicité), and devised by the company, based on material by Yeatman and co-writer Lauren Mooney.
The company includes acclaimed performers Janet Etuk (credits include Love, National Theatre and UK tour), Hamish MacDougall (credits include Trap Street, also by Kandinsky), Sophie Steer (credits include Lands, Bush Theatre and UK tour) and Harriet Webb (credits include It’s True, It’s True, It’s True, New Diorama Theatre), as well as live music from Zac Gvirtzman.
Kandinsky’s previous productions include: Still Ill, a drama developed with doctors and patients, examining the surprisingly common, little-understood Functional Neurological Disorder; Dog Show, a tragicomic look at people and their pets through the lens of a community assailed by a serial dog murderer; and Trap Street, which explored changing attitudes to social housing and the meaning of home.
Dinomania is at New Diorama Theatre 19th February – 23rd March 2019.