BWW Review: 2071 Worth Seeing, Worth Sharing, Worth Change at Seymour Centre
Two words are all it takes to create the most divisive debates of contemporary discourse. Climate Change is a concept over which apoplectic politicians and scientists have fought red-faced over the solution to, with the former frequently denying its very existence. The evidence has been undeniable for a long time, and yet the level of change required for humans to maintain the conditions by which we might continue to live on Earth are deemed either too inconvenient, too late, or too far in the future for the decisions to be cared about, let alone made. An enlightening address by Professor Chris Rapley has been dramatized in association with Australian Theatre for Young People in a compelling presentation of what it is we're facing, entitled 2071.
Co-authored by Rapley and playwright Duncan Macmillan, 2071 examines the sciences of how climate change is pitched and proven by scientists around the country who have found the last thing standing between survival and extinction is apathy: the hubris of humanity who are incapable of change, unwilling to surrender their conveniences, and unable to fathom a time in future where the consequences of degrees increasing will see immeasurable difficulty for our future generations.
Which begs the question: is there anything we can do as individuals sitting in seats at the Seymour Centre? Bearing in mind that the Earth will continue to exist without humans, and generate sustainable life for a great deal of other living things, this is not a question of saving the planet, but saving the ability for humans to continue being custodians and inhabitants of it. This is not a question 2071 directly answers, but certainly provides larger solutions to, that we might influence as audience members: pledging to reduce our own carbon footprints, making our investments either directly or indirectly (through super, insurance, banking) those in renewables, as well as contacting our political representatives and energy providers to demand they do the same. The deadlines are serious, and the changes are considerable but not impossible.
John Gaden's voice is perfect for this piece and he carries the rhetoric well. Surrounding him are ATYP cast members Lucy Brownlie, Sasha Rose, Ellery Joyce, Matthew Simmons, Jacqueline Morrison and Heath Jelovic who provide the movement, music and enthusiasm the work needs to maintain dynamism and a representation of who these changes are designed to preserve and give agency to. The sound and movement work by Andree Greenwell and Patricia Wood respectively was tasteful and kept attention sharp, which helped bring life to the text that we in large part, and very tragically, no longer possess the intellect or attention span to necessarily keep to without such dynamics.
2071 is an earnest work, that in spite of appearing somewhat like a live BBC after-school special about the issue (and not unwisely: many of us apparently need to be spoken to at this level to get it through out skulls), resonates in a space of great import.
Tickets available here.