The Environmentalists - Theatre ☆☆☆☆4
Showing from - Wednesday, March 2, 2016 through till Saturday, March 5, 2016
Everyman Theatre - Liverpool
Johanna Roberts | Thursday, March 3, 2016
In a country that the Green Global Economy Index cites as suffering from ‘inconsistent and sometimes negative political rhetoric related to green economy’, YEP, with their new show The Environmentalists, are sending a message that is as positive as it is clear: ‘Just do it anyway, and you might just save the world.’
So what is it we’re meant to do? The production, hoping to be the UK's first carbon-neutral play, is a devised piece stemming from research and discussions. Arguments against making changes are aired – and shot down - with skill and humourIt offers a series of scenarios related to different environmental issues. Inevitably, some scenes work better than others, but all have the creativity, energy, passion, and humour that have become the hallmarks of YEP. Thus, we have the ‘Keremy Jyle Show’ focussing on how the excessive consumption of meat has a negative effect on Planet Earth; a lovelorn jellyfish, constantly deceived by floating plastic bags; and a man-eating fridge acting as a stark warning to anyone who doesn’t accord vegetables the respect they deserve.
The show is fast-paced (running time approximately 100 minutes) and well-structured– children’s TV presenters Eco Joe and Recycle Michael telling viewers ‘We’re all going to die!’ flows into a distraught girl watching the show while her sceptical mother suggests she watch Towie instead. We also get a version of the UN Environment Conference that might be closer to the truth than politicians would like to admit, with internecine squabbles, Greece begging for small change, and North Korea eyeing up the big red button.
Ah yes, the big red button was introduced at the beginning by the American self-help expert ‘Miguelle’ Johnson, with his aim to demonstrate how neither total panic nor total apathy will bring about the change necessary; what is needed is a ‘medium range panic level but with brain still functioning’.
Arguments against making changes are aired – and shot down - with skill and humour. Indeed, humour abounds, and while everyone will have a favourite moment, the reluctant penguin and dozy Jeff are definitely among mine.
Talented young people
And alongside the humour, there is hope, with the entire show connected by the running metaphor of sowing a seed. For the aim is not to preach or to complain, but to demonstrate that each small change can make a difference and many small differences can make a big difference. As Mother Nature, adding more litter to her already full shopping trolley states: ‘Things have to change, my lovelies!’
With tickets from £5-7 so that talented young people make you laugh and think, just do it anyway!
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