Review: ★★★★ Secret Life of Humans, New Diorama Theatre

Where did we all come from? Inspired by Sapiens: A brief History of Human Kind by Yuval Harai; this spell bounding play, uses anthropology and social science to explore human kind.

Written and co-directed by David Byrne, we are led to delve deep into human nature by spanning through different time periods: Ava and Jamie on a tinder date, Bruno’s lifetime, and the history of humanity over millions of years.

We are first met with a science researcher Ava Stella Taylor who after a day of lecturing goes on a tinder date with Jamie Andrew Strafford-Baker – who she later finds out is the grandson of celebrated TV scientist Jacob ‘Bruno’ Bronowski Richard Delaney. On discovering Bruno’s secret room; the pair find out much more about his life work than they anticipated.

Devised by the company, the action effortlessly slips between 1940s Britain, present day and the history of humanity, with the use of moving bookcases which the cast pass through into different scenes, making the transitions seamless and creating an almost thriller-esque pace as the story unravels. With video projections showing our vast world, real footage of Parkinson and Bruno, and actors literally walking on walls- teamed with the live action on stage- it’s a real joy to watch.

With the current state of affairs, it seems like this is the perfect time for this play to be showing, there is a real sense of urgency to re-evaluate the consequences of our actions – ourselves as individuals, as a nation and ultimately as humankind. Secret Life of Humans invites us to come together with our fellow humans to look again at ourselves and rediscover ourselves anew.


Victoria Margaret

Victoria Margaret
Victoria Margaret

Victoria Margaret is a northern girl lost in London. She is a huge fan of dogs, cups of tea, cake and gravy – not necessarily all at same time. A lover of all things theatre and film; she’s having a ball reviewing for Upper Circle Theatre.

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