Chrissie and the Skiddle Witch: A Climate Change Musical
Roberta Wilkinson (book, lyrics), and Matthew Kemp (music, lyrics)
Greenside @ Riddle’s Court
Climate change-generated fires and storms might seem the unlikely basis of a feel-good musical, but Geologise Theatre’s family-friendly story of Chrissie, the thirteen-year-old objecting to more fossil fuel production, is just that.
The story is told by the lively performers Matthew Kemp and Roberta Wilkinson, who are also PhD Earth Sciences students.
Skiddle is a seaside town with wind farms and oil rigs, but there is talk of the oil companies being allowed to drill for more oil. The area has also just been hit by a terrible storm, which has left some people without power.
It’s the October school holiday and Chrissie is staying with her dad while her mum is touring Spain. Unfortunately, he’s a senior manager at the oil company and has developed an attractive apprenticeship scheme that he is tempting her brother Mike to apply for.
She hopes Mike will instead follow up on a leaflet she has given him about a course in eco-engineering.
While on the streets collecting names for a petition asking for the oil to be left in the ground, she is approached by Mr Evans from her school. He asks her to visit the older woman, Annie, who lives alone, to check she is okay after the storm. Since Chrissie isn’t in the school’s best books after joining a Friday climate strike from school, she decides to visit the woman even though this woman is referred to by student Davey as the Skiddle witch.
However, it turns out that Annie is also concerned about climate change and so begin some interesting connections between the pair.
The music is entertaining, the story warm-hearted and well-performed, the politics optimistic. If any children or adults have questions after the show, a team of scientists are on hand to chat.
Reviewer: Keith Mckenna