"You should ask Wallace..."

You Should Ask Wallace

A unique, interactive, one-man show about the inspirational man, Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-discoverer of Natural Selection.

Performed by Ioan Hefin and written and directed by Geinor Styles, this performance focuses on the aspects of Alfred Russel Wallace’s inspirational character that led him to think up the idea of evolution by natural selection. When Darwin was stumped for an answer to why certain species were the way they were, the advice given to him was - “You should ask Wallace”.

Wallace travelled around the Malay Archipelago for eight years, searching for the mechanism of evolution and new species of animals to send back to England. It was during this trip that he made his greatest contribution to science. In February 1858, weak with fever, Wallace had a flash of inspiration and discovered natural selection, the process believed to drive most evolutionary change of life on Earth. When he was well enough he wrote an essay detailing his ideas and sent it to Charles Darwin for comment.

Wallace's article plus some of Darwin's unpublished writings on the subject were presented at a meeting of the Linnean Society of London on the 1st July 1858. It was this discovery, which spurred Darwin to produce his seminal work “On The Origin of Species” , Wallace is often credited as the co-discoverer of this great achievement in science. “You should ask Wallace” is an interactive performance giving an insight into this eminent Victorian scientist, and social commentator.

The performance will take place at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Darwin and Wallace’s discovery of Natural Selection.

“The work of Wallace has truly inspired me. Self educated, he never stopped being intrigued and amazed by the world around him, and was never afraid to ask difficult questions that flew in the face of the establishment. He showed profound humanity in questioning the status quo for a more just society. I believe we could all take a leaf from his book. “

Geinor Styles, 

Writer and Director.

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith