Global warming skeptics, beware: A play with the alarming title “Kill Climate Deniers” may be coming to a theater near you.
Written by Australian playwright David Finnigan, “Kill Climate Deniers” kicked off Thursday the 2018 season of the Griffin Theatre in Sydney after a week of previews, with the final show scheduled for April 7.
The plot? “As a classic rock band take the stage in Parliament House’s main hall, 96 armed eco-terrorists storm the building and take the entire government hostage, threatening to execute everyone unless Australia ends global warming. Tonight,” said the play’s website.
The play was commissioned in 2014 with a $19,000 grant from the Australian government, but its first staging was shut down following a backlash led by conservative Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt, reports ABC Australia.
“How does the ACT Government justify spending taxpayers’ money on a theatre work entitled ‘Kill Climate Deniers’?” asked Mr. Bolt in a column dated Sept. 30, 2014. “What sane Government donates to a project urging others to kill fellow citizens, even as a ‘joke’? Are these people mad?”
Mr. Finnigan, who described the play as a “pretty joyful comedy,” said he consulted with scientists while writing the play, and later with “climate deniers” after the brouhaha over the title.
“I genuinely think they understand perhaps better than myself and a lot of left-leaning liberals the consequences of climate science,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Company. “And because they understand the consequences, they can’t accept the science.”
Griffin Theatre artistic director Lee Lewis called it “an action film wrapped in a dance party wrapped in a documentary feature.”
The play had a brief run last fall at the Garage Theater in Long Beach, California, but the latest staging represents the show’s first full-scale production.
Finnigan said that despite the name, his play is not a violent call to arms but rather “a pretty joyful comedy”.
“It’s a high-octane action adventure thriller set in Parliament House,” he said.
The Parliament House of Finnigan’s play, however, has been invaded by eco-terrorists. They’ve taken everyone hostage while demanding that the government stop climate change.
Finnigan, who based his 2012 Churchill Fellowship on studying the intersection between science and the performing arts, creates theatre in collaboration with climate and systems scientists.
The backlash to Finnigan’s original play has shaped the work in unexpected ways, leading him to engage directly with the climate deniers who criticised his play’s title.
“These deniers see climate change as the leading edge of this massive effort to restructure society with a socialist frame.
“I think they’ve got a really good handle on how climate change is going to affect every facet of society in the next 50 years.”
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
March 4th, 2018