would you stay if she promised you heaven

would you stay if she promised you heaven

Image by istolethetv

Daniel Nelson


Never has terrorism been so much fun.


In the play Kill Climate Deniers, a group of eco-terrorists storm Australia's Parliament House during a Fleetwood Mac concert and threaten to kill the whole audience.


The set-up enables playwright David Finnigan to combine his interests in climate change and in attracting new audiences with “some of the best music our species has ever produced”.


It asks “What happens when the unstoppable force of climate change meets the immovable object of Australian politics?” Its answer is a raucous, crazed farce with plastic guns, ball gowns and fights choreographed as sexy dancing.


Finnigan spent 10 years producing theatre in collaboration with climate and earth systems scientists – “we take concepts from climate science and complexity theory and turn them into performance pieces” – and in this play he has a fair go at coupling the serious content with a parody of Hollywood-style hostage drama, mainly by occasional explanatory interjections by the author.


There’s an added bite to the arguments because Finnigan believes that to be aware of climate change and yet fail to take action to stop it is as bad as climate denial.


The play generated controversy in Australia even before it was staged (a state grant was withdrawn and performance cancelled), mainly because of its condemnation by a conservative, adversarial blogger and columnist – and as “Finig” says in the opening scene, “First thing I got wrong was the title … sometimes you get it wrong, you get it wrong, you get it wrong…”


A small theatre in North London will be lucky to attract even one-hundredth of the ire it sparked in Australia, but it’s 90 minutes of fun, though it dips about two-thirds of the way through when the romp begins to lose its pomp, while it bravely attempts to address a serious problem.


In the words of Julian Hobbs, artistic director of the theatre company, who cooked up the idea for the play with Finnigan: “Thanks to David for walking out onto the gruesome battlefield of this debate: for doing his research and thinking and having a go at a statement matching the urgency of the political crisis.”


And she adds: “Death, mayhem, more confusion, this is a horror show about the politics of this time. I hope you enjoy the play.”



Saturday 8 June

Bechdel Theatre audience discussion
Relaxed audience-led conversation on the themes of the show, hosted by Bechdel Theatre - the campaign and podcast about gender and representation on stage.

Sunday 9 June
Staging Change: Sustainability

Day of workshops and panel discussions.

Wednesday 12 June
Meet the Cast Q&A

The cast discuss the rehearsal process and how they brought the play’s characters and situations to the stage!

Saturday 15 June
EcoMarket, 1-3pm, 5-7pm

See what's to offer in the world of eco-companies. Head to the downstairs carpark for everything from sustainable clothes to eco food.

Wednesday 19 June
Environmental Activism Q&A

Hot off their London take over, Extinction Rebellion are joined by Green Peace to discuss environmental activism and how to lobby for change.

Saturday 22 June
Thinking Bigly: Work-In-Progress 3-7pm

Performance about sustainability and how you, finance and policy can be part of the solution. By Kill Climate Deniers playwright David Finnigan and UK theatre-maker Ben Yeoh.

Tuesday 25 June
Meet the Creatives Q&A

Playwright David Finnigan and director Nic Connaughton discuss the history of the play, as well as how it was approached for a UK audience.


* Kill Climate Deniers is at the Pleasance Theatre, North Road, N7, £16/£14, until 28 June. Info: www.plesance.co.uk


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