PLAYWAVE CREATIVE REVIEW: KILL CLIMATE DENIERS
KILL CLIMATE DENIERS
Reviewed by Nicole Pingon
My favourite things at age eighteen: theatre, environmentalism and satire.
So obviously Kill Climate Deniers instantly become a must-see for me. I was super keen to be handed a ‘how to defeat climate change’ handbook, and go on to save the world. Even though I left the theatre without a definitive answer of how to assure the planet’s survival, what I did leave with was way more powerful.
While David Finnigan uses climate change and the political backlash of Kill Climate Deniers from 2013 as the basis of the piece (Google-search for context), it extends far beyond increasingly hot temperatures, an angry Andrew Bolt, and furious keyboard warriors. Rather, it reflects upon Finnigan’s years worth of silence from the play being criticised to non-existence before it even had a chance breathe on stage. It sheds light on political discourse, and paints a vivid and confronting picture of today’s political climate.
For me, what was most confronting about this piece wasn’t the nature of its content, but the fact that it didn’t have to stray that far from reality in order to be entertaining. Finnigan’s writing is clever and satirical, and doesn’t rely on bias nor sensationalism to achieve those adjectives. In fact, the piece was packed with fact! Real statistics, real events and very real backlash; as reminded by Finigan’s live commentary interspersed throughout the piece. Finnigan pokes fun at the media, politicians, eco-terrorists and us alike, and doesn’t provide a conclusive right or wrong answer to how to solve our issues; because there isn’t one. So give the man a break, and accept that he’s just like the rest of us trying to make sense of our world. The difference? He’s actually speaking up about it and sharing it with the world.
So yes, Kill Climate Deniers is fearless, daring and #edgy in its perspective; which in turn can make us uncomfortable, because we are actually forced to think and reflect about our world, long after the performance is over. The very nature of theatre should force us to engage with challenging ideas as they unfold in real-time, and in a public space. It makes us confront ideas that we usually pass by in day-to-day life, and offer perspectives that we may not come by ourselves.
Because if not now, when?
Kill Climate Deniers embodies the willingness of new-Australian art to say things that are difficult, share ideas that have trouble being heard, and open up conversation: conversations that we don’t always want to have. And frankly, this is the type of theatre I want to see! So shout out to Griffin Theatre for putting this on stage, and showing the world that there is a place for provocative art. Art that reflects our current world; art that’s honest, art that dissents, art that dissects what makes us; us. As individuals who all have the power to create change, we must to allow ourselves to be provoked, so we can begin tackling the real issues at hand @climatechange.
Then again, who actually cares about what an eighteen year old thinks.
Aside from all the politics that inevitably come with this piece, the high energy nature of Kill Climate Deniers is refreshing, and should be commended. The marriage of its bangin’ soundtrack, Lee Lewis’ exciting direction, and the astounding stamina and agility of the cast throughout this performance lived up to its billed expectation of being an action-thriller rave. With an exciting combination of physical theatre, singing and pole dancing, I was reminded of the fitness level required for theatre, and left with a strong urge to pick up pole dancing…
And here’s a massive shout out to whoever decided to give a role to the electronic screens. The showcase of subtitle-style text, stock images, and the occasional meme, added pure entertainment value and generated a ton of laughs from those under thirty. Too often, I caught myself eagerly awaiting the support of a (°ー°〃), ~(>_<。)＼, and ＼(｀0´)／, to confirm that my reactions were the correct ones. And yes, sometimes this did distract me from the politics happening right in front of me - but isn’t that exactly what the media does?!
For the record, the title of the play never crossed my mind as offensive, but perhaps my iGen/Gen Z/Post-Millenium self (whatever you want to call us), is just accustomed to stuff like that. Take ClickHole for example, publishing satirical articles with sensationalist titles as their brand (and a media source I often opt for, because at least I know I’m reading fake news). Point is, not everything is charged with malicious intent. Get over it.