Great Apes: Are Human Beings Overrated?

Additional panellists to be confirmed

Will Self is a writer and lives in south London
Mark Rappolt is Editor-in-Chief of Art Review and Art Review Asia
Timandra Harkness is a journalist, writer and broadcaster; presenter of FutureProofing and author of Big Data: does size matter?
Dr Peter Misch is a Consultant Adolescent Forensic Psychiatrist at Maudsley Hospital
Dr Wendy Earle is Impact Development Officer at Birkbeck, University of London and convenor of the Academy of Ideas Arts and Society Forum

Patrick Marmion’s adaptation for the theatre of Will Self’s satirical novel Great Apes, raises – hilariously and darkly – the major question of what it means to be human. How far should we separate ourselves from the animal world? Not only are we symbiotically dependent on other animals, we are also animals ourselves. It is just over 50 years since the publication of Desmond Morris’s Naked Ape which emphasised the evolutionary closeness between apes and humans.

What makes us different? Does self-knowledge, self-awareness, the power of speech and our sexuality set us apart so significantly that we can ignore our animal origins? Has human culture created an unbridgeable gulf between humans and their nearest species relatives, the chimpanzees? Or are there aspects of human culture that reveal our animalistic tendencies and should make us wary of species arrogance?

Are Human Beings Overrated? brings together panellists from a range of fields to discuss and debate these ideas.

This event will take place in Studio 4 and runs from 5.30pm until 7pm.

Are Human Beings Overrated? is free to attend and open to anybody that has booked a ticket for any Great Apes performance. Due to limited availability, places must be reserved in advance.

Click here to book a ticket for Great Apes, playing until 21 April →