The Reverend Jeremiah Brown (Bill Graham) and Hilsboro townsfolk demonstrate outside the courtroom.
The Reverend Jeremiah Brown (Bill Graham) and Hilsboro townsfolk demonstrate outside the courtroom.

Creationism vs evolution

Scenes of noisy religious fundamentalism and fervent old time gospel singing are happening nightly, both indoors and outdoors at the Players Theatre in Swift St. The anti-evolution, anti-Darwin placard-waving picketers who greet audiences outside the theatre are part of the large cast of Inherit the Wind - the current production at the Players Theatre.

Inherit the Wind examines the controversial theme of Creationism vs Evolution and is a powerful and exciting theatrical re-creation of the famous 'Scopes Monkey Trial', which took place in the United States in 1925. An American schoolteacher, John Scopes, was jailed for teaching Darwin's evolutionary theories in contravention of state laws and the trial was internationally publicised as 'God vs Charles Darwin'.

But Inherit the Wind is not an historical piece. Creationism - a literal interpretation of the Bible's Book of Genesis - is still very much alive and well internationally in 2009, the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's revolutionary Origin of Species. Creationism (re-named 'Intelligent Design') is still taught as part of the curriculum in some Australian schools. The works and theories of Charles Darwin are still banned in a number of schools throughout the USA and elsewhere. The passionate arguments and the controversy continue.

The stage directions for Inherit the Wind set the time as 'not too long ago'. It might have been yesterday. It could be tomorrow. Directed by David Addenbrooke and featuring a large, very talented cast, Inherit the Wind is a highly theatrical, thoroughly entertaining production not to be missed.

Inherit the Wind opens this Friday, September 11, and will play until September 26 at the Ballina Players Theatre in Swift St. To book, phone Just Funkin Music on 6686 2440.


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