Kill Climate Deniers deserves its hype for sure: Following the Australian Environment Minister and her PR advisor to a Fleetwood Mac concert at which the audience is being taken hostage by a group of radical climate activists is sharp, witty and scarily relevant for obvious reasons.
Before the action starts, we hear interview snippets of obscure theories from climate change deniers, some of them slick spin doctors and predatory lobbyists, others are researchers granted far too much imagination for their trade. We learn how these dangerously genuine climate deniers are given again and again broadcasting time by the Australian media group which owns 70% of all publishing channels already, the same people who in info wars happily defame scientists as overpaid librarians. Ouch. And yes, bloggers need a thick skin for some of their assaults as well (Bloggers are not real people. Bloggers do not have an audience).
Author David Finnigan comes to the stage to justify the radical title of his play and how he backed himself up legally in his native Australia so this piece of theatre won’t be classified as propagandising killings or terrorism.
On her mission to please all factions minister Gwen Malkin promotes her megalomaniac plans of covering the sun through geo-engineering – benefits are that Australia finally gets something close to a volcano, takes over the control of both fossil and solar energy globally and (that old chestnut) creates more jobs in the mining and coal industry: Coal in the end is nothing but buried sunlight and anciently old to which Down Under is clearly entitled to.
A gang of fed-up activists have enough of watermelons in politics, meaning people green on the outside and red in the inside. With machine guns and AK47 they dare to shoot everyone in the concert arena: People care so little about the environment have no justification on this doomed planet where humanity will be extinct soon in any case. The minister and her PR agent do not want to give up, try to flee and supported by a drone their supporters have sent (I am still not over this low budget stage prop) it comes to music underlined battle scenes.
For the first time I am at the Downstairs stage of the Pleasance: Here the audience sits around the space the actors are playing so be warned of possible interactions – two doors on different sides of the room keep the setting very dynamic and the four all-female players are clearly enjoying the constant change of roles and costumes. There is a lot of nineties techno but given the ecstatic giggles around me I seem to be the only one who finds it tiring after a while, so I laugh along.
This play never preaches despite its urgent messages; instead, once again it shows that laughter is the best weapon, especially when others are so ridiculous you cannot argue with them. Little spoiler of this satire: Malkin becomes Australia’s Prime Minister in the end.
Written by David Finnigan
**** out of 5 stars
Tickets from £14
Played until June at London’s The Pleasance Theatre