The Story of the Solar System

In 2016 Will performed his first live theatre show The Story of the Solar System. This page is where you’ll find teaser trailers for the show and pictures from the premiere as well as details of any upcoming UK tour dates.

About the show

Few stories are more thrilling, more extraordinary, than that of our Solar System and the planets, moons, asteroids and comets that orbit the star we call the Sun. In this exciting new live show, astronomer Will Gater brings this remarkable tale to the stage.

The Story of the Solar System explores how the planets came to be and how they were transformed from wandering points of light to familiar worlds. Worlds that we’ve now examined up-close with robotic rovers and orbiting spacecraft.

Along the way you’ll hear about the men and women who pioneered the study of our planetary neighbourhood and see how modern space missions, investigating strange and awe-inspiring alien landscapes, have built on their work.

With live demos bringing to life some of the science of the Solar System and spectacular astronomical imagery throughout, this promises to be one story you won’t forget soon.

The Story of the Solar System social media teaser

The Story of the Solar System extended trailer

Pictures from the premiere of The Story of the Solar System, November 2016


The Story of the Solar System set (view from downstage left). The 3.5m Rosetta model looms over the demo table with Comet 67P below left. Credit: Will Gater


Fish-eye views of the show’s opening sequence – the audience watches as the Sun is born, surrounded by a vast disc of dust and gas. Credit: Will Gater

Will telling the tale of the night Galileo Galilei turned his telescope toward Jupiter and saw, for the first time, its four largest moons.

The Story of the Solar System set – at left awaiting the audience and at right during the show (with Will on stage holding a replica of one of Galileo’s telescopes).


Publicity shot of the 1:3-scale Huygens probe model surrounded by smooth ‘icy’ pebbles on the surface of Titan. Credit: Will Gater

Will on stage during the first half and (at right) a publicity image of the model Philae lander and its final resting site on Comet 67P.


The smallest star of the show! A slice of carbonaceous chondrite meteorite showing chondrules and calcium aluminium inclusions (CAIs). Credit: Will Gater


The 1:3 replica of the Huygens probe on stage bathed in the orange glow of Titan’s hazy skies. Credit: Will Gater


Wide view of the Story of the Solar System set from the top of the stalls. Credit: Will Gater


Will making a cometary nucleus live on stage using dry ice and other ingredients and (at right) a publicity shot of the Philae lander on Comet 67P with a cometary jet.

Will pointing out the dark surface of the mini-comet and the similarities to a real cometary nucleus and (at right) blowing on it to create the ‘coma’.


Publicity image of the 3.5-metre wide Rosetta model showing details on the orbiter and science instruments/cameras. Credit: Will Gater

View from the upper left stalls looking towards Will carrying the ‘Neptune’ LED marker stick (at top right).