From: Tuesday, 25th January 2011
To: Saturday, 2 April 2011
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What on earth is happening to our planet? Who knows what and what can or should be done about it? We are as gods and we have to get good at it. Stewart Brand. The questions we all have about the environment and the future are exhilaratingly intricate. Knowing what and who to trust is an increasingly bewildering challenge. Only a few things are certain: every living thing is related to every other living thing; our actions have consequences; change is constant and inevitable. Seeking to understand a subject of great complexity, the National Theatre has asked four of the most distinct and exciting playwrights in British theatre to collaborate on a new piece of documentary theatre. This team has spent six months interviewing key individuals from the worlds of science, politics, business and philosophy in an effort to understand our changing relationship with the planet. Greenland combines the factual and the theatrical as several separate but connected narratives collide to form a provocative response to the most urgent questions of our time.
Michael Coveney - 2 February 2011
Right, somebody said, it’s high time we sat down and wrote a play about climate change. Greenland is the heavily "curated" (by Ben Power) result, and it’s skilful, enjoyable in odd moments and strikingly staged on a vast, empty Lyttelton stage by Bijan Sheibani.
But it’s dead at the centre and therefore dead in the water. Four playwrights have been dragooned into supplying interwoven narratives, and you couldn’t possibly tell, or care much, whether Moira Buffini, Matt Charman, Penelope Skinner or Jack Thorne had written this bit or that.
There was a 1988 play of the same title by Howard Brenton in which a group of characters jump into the Thames and find them washed up in Utopia seven hundred years hence; it was wacky but imaginative, and inherently theatrical.
Here, there’s something glumly predictable about the relationship between a (female) Labour politician and a (male) climate change exper...
Latest User Review
addicted to theatre - 10 February 2011:
Nicely staged but completely incoherent. I do believe in climate change but felt insulted by the lack of balance - cap and trade and a carbon tax were just dismissed. This was like being hit over the head with 'The Guardian' for two hours....