Musical “Darwin Rocks!” Canceled After Complaints


Photo Credits:KaraokeOnline

Darwin’s proposition that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors is now widely accepted, and considered a foundational concept in science. In a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, he introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.

British elementary school has canceled its performances of a musical on evolution after complaints from some Christian parents over some of its lyrics. About 90 students were preparing a musical about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. “Darwin Rocks!” was scheduled to perform next month at Hartford Manor Primary School — a non-religious school in Cheshire.

"Darwin Rocks!" is a "light-hearted look" at Darwin's life. It covers his favorite food (fried tortoise), his favorite sport (snooker, which is similar to billiards), his favorite pastime (making lists) and of course his favorite subject — evolution.

According to BBC, head teacher Simon Kidwell said that Hartford Manor Primary School received six "expressions of concern" over lyrics that refer to "bump and grind" — a sexually suggestive dance move. He said three of those parents also believed a bishop was "mocked" in a separate scene.

Some parents threatened to pull their children from the production, causing the school to cancel it altogether. The school board was not involved in the decision to drop the production. The school teaches evolution, which parents had not previously complained about according to Kidwell.

Mike Smith, managing director at Musicline, said the firm "asked Steve Titford - a practicing Christian - and the writer of Shakespeare Rocks to write a factual musical about Charles Darwin's life and beliefs."

He said it was "received with enthusiasm" and performed in schools around the world since 2017. "You can't please all the people all the time, but having been in the school musical business for over 25 years, we can't ever recall having courted controversy before," Mr Smith added.

Several parents said they felt the school made the wrong choice in canceling the show. "It really does feel like a huge step backwards," parent Alan McDonald told The Independent. "It doesn't seem evenhanded or in any way right."

"It is simply unacceptable that religious fundamentalist views should have such influence in a community primary school and prevent children accessing what should have been a brilliant learning experience," another parent said.

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