Coventry youngsters produce play about climate change

Published: 8 May 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

“Urgent issue of our time”: Like There’s No Tomorrow

Twenty youth groups from around the UK are to stage Coventry Belgrade Theatre’s young company’s play about climate change, Like There’s No Tomorrow, which was commissioned by the National Theatre as part of its NT Connections programme.

The words and ideas of Coventry's young people are to be amplified around the country through the NT Connections Festival 2021 in which youth groups from Plymouth to Falkirk are staging the play in various formats, both live and digital.

As part of the festival, Like There's No Tomorrow will return to the Belgrade with a new digital version from the Belgrade young company which will be available to view from Wednesday 19 May until Sunday 13 June. Tickets are free, with an optional donation to support the Belgrade.

The theatre will host an online festival on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 June and will invite young people to connect, discuss and celebrate their work in post-show forums.

Justine Themen, one of the Belgrade's three co-artistic directors who created and directed the original stage version of Like There's No Tomorrow with Claire Procter in 2020, said, "we chose to make a piece about climate change because it’s the urgent issue of our time—and what better way to have impact than to be reaching and inspiring young people across the country.

“The play was co-created with our 2020 young company, a group of young people aged 13 to 26 showing particular flair for theatre-making and an interest in climate change.

“They were involved at every stage of the process from the exploration of the subject matter and shaping the narrative to improvising the dialogue—a true reflection of the Belgrade's collaborative process for making participatory theatre, building on its strong history of theatre-in-education practices.

“As a result, the play is a rich reflection of young people’s thoughts and ideas about the crisis that the world finds itself in—plenty of fear but also plenty of hope. We hope the show helps people to understand the urgent need for global thinking and systemic change and to think about how they can contribute."

Like There’s No Tomorrow can be accessed at the Belgrade Theatre’s web site.