Origin of the Species: A Love Story

1984 - 1985

Molly Starkey, famous archaeologist and raconteuse tells us a story. It starts when she digs up her five million years old ancestor Victoria and begins teaching her to speak. It’s a love story – set in Africa and Yorkshire. It is an epic tale filled with excitement and adventure, which spans those heady years from The Dawn of Time until Now. It is a story so very strange that even Victoria finds it difficult to believe it could possibly have happened. And she was there.

  • Written by Bryony Lavery
  • Co-production Birmingham Repertory Theatre


Gillian Hanna
Mary McCusker

Production Team

Nona Shepphard
Jenny Carey
Michael Rowntree
Lighting Designer
Meri Jenkins
Company Manager
Christine Thornhill
Stage Manager
Sandy Bailey

Places and dates

Birmingham Repertory Studio
22/11/1984 - 22/12/1984
The Drill Hall, London
20/03/1985 - 06/04/1985

‘It has much of the fascination of good science fiction, the moral resonance of a parable, a beautiful set that combines domestic bliss with the call of the wild and confirms Jenny Carey as one of the most innovative designers around, and marvelously funny performances from Gillian Hanna (Molly) and Mary McCusker (Victoria).’
Ros Asquith The Observer March 1985





Commentary by Janelle Reinelt

A selection of reviews