Gilbert Is Dead is a Victorian scientific mystery play: a clever, funny and moving portrait of grief, faith and science. The plot follows Lucius Trickett, Londons most celebrated taxidermist, who finds himself in cahoots with Queen Victoria and our hero Gilbert Shirley, to disprove Darwins theory of evolution with a stuffed specimen of the mysterious ghost loris. But what happens when the missing link goes missing? Robin Frenchs distinctive, often surrealist voice characterised by historically intelligent, meticulously researched subjects and a precise, quirky sense of irony. Very clever, his writing presents an academic, yet accessible, labyrinth, toying with history, scientific theories and popular beliefs. He manages to experiment with form, style and theatrical metaphor whilst also staying firmly rooted in narratives which are engaging, affecting and provide astute social and human comment.The publication of this programme text edition was published to coincide with the world premiere at Hoxton Music Hall (4-29 December 2009), produced by the theatre company Shining Man.

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