Fresh from her play The Forbidden Zone concerning ‘The Chemists of War’ and the use of poisonous gas in the First World War, Katie Mitchell continues her collaboration with scientists. Employing the same writer, Duncan Macmillan, for 2071, this latest offering promises to highlight the debate surrounding climate change — who is at fault? And more importantly, what are we to do next?
Head of London’s Climate Change Partnership and Professor of Climate Change at UCL, Chris Rapley often discusses distant futures: “2071 is the year my oldest grandchild will be the age I am now .” This idea inspired the play’s title and the need to have what the writer calls a ‘conversation’ about our planet’s future.
Duncan Macmillan and Katie Mitchell have worked together several times before, along with The Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Germany’s largest theatre. This particular production emerged after conversations and the compelling lectures of Chris Rapley. We can expect something very similar to the critically acclaimed play Ten Billion, in which scientist Stephen Emmott (directed by Mitchell) stood in a recreated version of his Cambridge office and delivered a multimedia presentation on the dangers of overpopulation. The Guardian's Michael Billington compared this lecture-cum-theatre to David Hare’s political playwriting and much verbatim theatre. He found it “one of the most disturbing nights I have ever spent in a theatre” and praised Mitchell’s “astute direction.”
We can expect a filmic quality to this production as Mitchell manipulates every medium in order to convey such a difficult global message. Critic Charles Spencer once referred to her as the “princess of darkness” for her tendency to stage shows under a pall of gloominess. Yet Katie Mitchell's direction is illuminated by a deep humanity and exploration of options for a better future.
Duncan Macmillan’s recent adaptation of Orwell’s 1984 transferred to the West End after sold out runs in theatres across London. He writes on an epic scale. In his play, Lungs, a character despairs that "if you actually cared about the planet then kill yourself.” In 2071 this theme will be re-explored and brought to life in an eye-opening fusion of performance and science.
|What||2071, Royal Court|
|Where||Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8AS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Sloane Square (underground)|
05 Nov 14 – 15 Nov 14, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Royal Court|