Theatre – Darwin’s Tortoise / La Tortuga de Darwin

Darwin’s Tortoise / La Tortuga de Darwin

London’s newest theatre is proud to present Darwin’s Tortoise/La Tortuga de Darwin, a 2008 play by Spanish playwright Juan Mayorga, with translation by David Johnston (for English language performances).

One evening a mysterious old woman appears in the office of a history professor, claiming to be the tortoise Charles Darwin brought back from the Galapagos Islands. Through her experiences of living in 20th century Europe, she tells her own version of history…

“Witty, provocative, dark”.  Juan Mayorga’s acclaimed 2008 play illuminates superbly the dangers of demagoguery, the abuse of words and the inherent corruptibility of society.  A timely production as once again, nationalism becomes the dominant force in world politics

This is the first time the play has been performed in English and in the UK.

Darwin’s Tortoise (La Tortuga de Darwin), a play by the renowned Spanish playwright, Juan Mayorga, which will be presented in both Spanish and in an English translation, by David Johnston.    It is directed by the Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director, Paula Paz.

Published in 2008 and premiered at the Abbey Theatre, in Madrid, Mayorga’s play features Harriet, the tortoise that was reputedly collected by Charles Darwin during his 1835 visit to the Galapagos Islands and died – in an Australian zoo – in 2006, at the estimated age of 176.  In Mayorga’s play Harriet explains the history of the twentieth century through her experiences of surviving through it, outliving Darwin by more than 125 years.

Darwin's Tortoise


Spanish language performances: Monday – Wednesday

English language performances: Thursday – Saturday

Evening performances: Monday-Saturday  7:30pm .

Matinee performances: Wednesday & Saturday:  2:30pm


Standard  £20.00 + booking fee*

Concession with valid ID.- Age 65 & over £15.00 + booking fee*

Concession with valid ID- Age 25 & Under £15.00 + booking fee*

Concession with valid ID – Student £15.00 + booking fee*

*A booking fee applies of £0.45 + 6% per ticket

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Darwin’s Tortoise / La Tortuga de Darwin
22nd February to 18th March
By Juan Mayorga /Translated by David Johnston /Directed by Paula Paz

The Cervantes Theatre /Arch 26 Old Union Street Arches 229 Union Street London SE1 0LR

Box office: 020 3633 4406  / Box Office Open: Monday to Friday 10:00 to 18:00


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The Cervantes Theatre in London

Cervantes TheatreThe Cervantes Theatre opened its doors in November 2016. It is the proud creation of the Spanish Theatre Company (STC), a charity which aims to bring the best Spanish and Latin American theatre to London and to British audiences, thereby promoting Spanish language dramatic arts. The theatre will stage a combination of STC productions and performances of Spanish and Latin American plays from other theatre companies.

The Cervantes Theatre is London’s first venue dedicated to showcasing Spanish and Latin American plays, which are performed in both Spanish and English.The STC itself, the company behind the theatre, acts as a cultural link between the UK and both Spain and Latin America.

The STC presents a wide variety of Golden Age classics, as well as modern and contemporary masterpieces, to a broad audience of all nationalities. It also develops productions for schools. Through its bilingual programming, STC encourages Spanish/Latin American/British cultural exchange. It is becoming a reference point in London for Spanish-speaking culture and heritage.

Cervantes Theatre 2The Cervantes Theatre – as well as the STC – is the brainchild of the renowned director, actor, and producer Jorge de Juan, who arrived in London in 2013 with the express purpose of creating the company. As its Artistic Director, De Juan has been collaborating with Spanish-speaking actors, directors, and playwrights, as well as set, costume and lighting designers, musicians, and technicians. He has focused on forming a creative environment open to all communities in which diverse artists can practise and extend their craft.

The STC has the support of various organisations and institutions including the Embassy of Spain in London, the Cervantes Institute London, SGAE Foundation, Canada Water Culture Space, Instituto Cañada Blanch, and King’s College London.

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