Donmar Warehouse

Climate Conversations

A new podcast series about the Climate Crisis and Theatre 

Climate Conversations is a new podcast series, bringing together Donmar directors and leading climate and social justice thinkers. We want to better understand what it means to make theatre in the context of the climate crisis. How can the stories we tell, and the ways we tell them, contribute to a positive future?

This podcast series was recorded during an 18-month research project the Donmar is currently undertaking (2021-2023). Bringing together our artists and staff, facilitated by Zoë Svendsen, this research is exploring new ways of working and thinking in order to create the conditions for more climate-careful theatre-making.

LISTEN NOW on Sound Cloud, Apple Podcasts, Spotify or YouTube.

Curated by Donmar Artistic Associate and Climate Dramaturg, Zoë Svendsen.

Hosted by Clare Slater, Head of New Work, Donmar Warehouse.

Produced by Heather Pasfield with support from Josh Parr and Dadiow Lin for the Donmar Warehouse.

Audio Recording: Ed Borgnis, Simon Hendry, Max Hunter and Keegan Curran.

Audio Edit and Mix: Ed Borgnis


Climate Conversation One: FORCE MAJEURE and Masculine Mastery

Michael Longhurst (Director of Force Majeure and Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse) talks with the renowned international climate lawyer Farhana Yamin, who draws on 20 years at the frontline of global climate negotiations to relate the themes of the play to the climate crisis. 

Recorded on the set of Force Majeure, 24 January 2022.

Michael Longhurst is the Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, where he will direct The Band’s Visit this autumn. Previously he has directed work at the National Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, Almeida Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, Hampstead Theatre, Kiln, Young Vic and in the West End and on Broadway. His multi-cast production of Constellations won the 2022 Olivier Award for Best Revival of a Play, and Caroline, or Change, which he directed in London and on Broadway, was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival.

Farhana Yamin is an internationally recognised environmental lawyer, climate change and development policy expert. She has advised leaders and ministers on climate negotiations for 30 years, representing small islands and developing countries and attending nearly every major climate summit since 1991.

In addition to founding Track 0, she is a senior advisor to SYSTEMIQ and an FRSA. She was voted number two on the 2020 BBC’s Power List with the judges describing her as a ‘powerhouse of climate justice’ and is active in numerous community-based social initiatives in Camden.

Produced by Heather Pasfield with support from Josh Parr and Dadiow Lin for the Donmar Warehouse.

Audio Recording: Ed Borgnis, Simon Hendry, Max Hunter and Keegan Curran.

Audio Edit and Mix: Ed Borgnis


Climate Conversation Two: HENRY V and Imperialism

Max Webster (Director of Henry V) talks with Professor Farah Karim-Cooper and Indra Adnan about the relationship between colonialism and the climate crisis. They discuss the influence of Shakespeare on the construction of English identity, and how this was later deployed to justify Britain’s colonial project.  They also reflect on human development, ‘growing up’, and recognising our past mistakes.  

Recorded during the run of Henry V on 2 March 2022.

Max Webster is an award-winning theatre Director, specialising in new work, opera and live music events. Max has directed major productions in London at The Old Vic, The Globe Theatre and English National Opera, as well as across Europe, North America and Asia. He is currently an Associate Director of the Donmar Warehouse.

Farah Karim-Cooper is Co-Director of Education at Shakespeare’s Globe and Professor of Shakespeare Studies at King’s College London. She curates the Shakespeare and Race Festival and Anti-racist Shakespeare Webinars at the Globe and is the author of several publications on Shakespeare, theatre and race. Her forthcoming book is called The Great White Bard: How to Talk about Shakespeare and Race with One World and Viking Books (2023). 

Indra Adnan is Founder and Co-initator of The Alternative Global, a socio-political platform serving systemic transformation. AltGlobal publishes a Daily Alternative news blog, develops cosmolocal agency networks (CANs) and connects planetary regeneration projects. Indra is concurrently a socio-psychotherapist, writer and consultant on soft power. Clients have included the Danish and Brazilian governments, World Economic Forum and NATO. Her book The Politics of Waking Up: Power and Possibility in the Fractal Age was a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year in 2021.

Produced by Heather Pasfield with support from Josh Parr and Dadiow Lin for the Donmar Warehouse.

Audio Recording: Ed Borgnis, Simon Hendry, Max Hunter and Keegan Curran.

Audio Edit and Mix: Ed Borgnis

 

Mentioned resources:

– The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Race, ed. Ayanna Thompson

– Keep an eye out for The Great White Bard: Shakespeare, Race and the Future of His Legacy, by Farah Karim-Cooper – out from One World, May 2023

– Shakespeare’s Globe podcasts: on Shakespeare and Race

– Anti-racist Shakespeare Webinar Series, sponsored by Cambridge University Press, Shakespeare’s Globe

 

Additional Links

– The Alternative Global www.thealternative.org.uk

– The Human Givens Institute www.hgi.org.uk 

– The work of Minna Salami msafropolitan.com


Climate Conversation Three: MARYS SEACOLE and Taking Care

Nadia Latif (Director of Marys Seacole) talks with Courttia Newland and Indra Adnan about acts of care.  They discuss how the play dissects intergenerational legacies of inequality and colonialism, and how this speaks to the climate crisis.  What kind of story-structures are needed now to take better care of each other and create a new world?  

Recorded during the run of Marys Seacole on 23 May 2022.

Nadia Latif is a Theatre Maker and Film Director. She trained as a Director at RADA under Bill Gaskill. She has worked for buildings & companies including the Almeida, Royal Shakespeare Company, National, Bush, Theatre503 and Arcola. She is currently developing a number of film and television projects.  She was Associate Director of the Young Vic theatre from 2018 to 2020. In 2019 she was a Screen International Star of Tomorrow. In 2020 she was a fellow of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab.

Courttia Newland has published nine works of fiction, including his debut, The Scholar. His latest collection of speculative fiction stories, Cosmogramma, was published in 2021by Canongate (UK) and Akashic Books (US).  He has been awarded the Tayner Barbers Award for science fiction writing and the Roland Rees Bursary for playwriting. As a screenwriter he has co-written two feature length films for the Steve McQueen BBC series Small Axe, of which Lovers Rock was jury selected for Cannes, and opened New York Film Fest 2020.Small Axe won the LA Critics Circle award 2020 for Best Picture. 

Indra Adnan is Founder and Co-initator of The Alternative Global, a socio-political platform serving systemic transformation. AltGlobal publishes a Daily Alternative news blog, develops cosmolocal agency networks (CANs) and connects planetary regeneration projects. Indra is concurrently a socio-psychotherapist, writer and consultant on soft power. Clients have included the Danish and Brazilian governments, World Economic Forum and NATO. Her book The Politics of Waking Up: Power and Possibility in the Fractal Age was a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year in 2021.

Produced by Heather Pasfield with support from Josh Parr and Dadiow Lin for the Donmar Warehouse.

Audio Recording: Ed Borgnis, Simon Hendry, Max Hunter and Keegan Curran.

Audio Edit and Mix: Ed Borgnis

 

Additional Links

– The Alternative Global www.thealternative.org.uk

– The Human Givens Institute www.hgi.org.uk 

– The work of Minna Salami msafropolitan.com


Climate Conversation Four: A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2 and The Place of Complexity

James Macdonald (Director of A Doll’s House, Part 2) talks with Simmone Ahiaku and Farhana Yamin about living in a world of increased polarisation. What place does complexity have?  Is it possible to hold more than one viewpoint at a time? And how does this relate to the ever-evolving climate crisis?  

Recorded during the run of A Doll’s House, Part 2 on 13 July 2022.

James Macdonald was Associate and Deputy Director of the Royal Court from 1992 – 2006. More recently he has worked for the National Theatre, the Donmar, the Almeida, Hampstead Theatre, the Royal Court and in the West End – directing work by Lucas Hnath, Caryl Churchill, Lucy Kirkwood, Annie Baker, Mike Bartlett, Cordelia Lynn, Rory Mullarkey, William Congreve, Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams, Anne Carson and Euripedes. In New York he has worked for the Public Theater, the Lincoln Center, the Atlantic, NYTW – and on Broadway for MTC and Roundabout. He also directed the film version of A NUMBER for HBO/BBC.

Farhana Yamin is an internationally recognised environmental lawyer, climate change and development policy expert. She has advised leaders and ministers on climate negotiations for 30 years, representing small islands and developing countries and attending nearly every major climate summit since 1991.  In addition to founding Track 0, she is a senior advisor to SYSTEMIQ and an FRSA. She was voted number two on the 2020 BBC’s Power List with the judges describing her as a ‘powerhouse of climate justice’ and is active in numerous community-based social initiatives in Camden.

Simmone Ahiaku is a campaigner, geographer, writer and educator who has contributed to environmental, social and cultural work in Bristol, London and across the UK. Simmone has worked on air pollution, divestment and climate justice campaigns. She currently uses facilitated workshops to explore climate colonialism, and examples of climate resistance and movements from the past and present day.

Produced by Heather Pasfield with support from Josh Parr and Dadiow Lin for the Donmar Warehouse.

Audio Recording: Ed Borgnis, Simon Hendry, Max Hunter and Keegan Curran.

Audio Edit and Mix: Ed Borgnis


Climate Conversation Five: THE TRIALS and Better Futures

Dawn King (Writer of The Trials) and Natalie Abrahami (Director) talk with Anjali Raman-Middleton and Tolmeia Gregory about youth activism and the inspiration it gives us all to take responsibility for a brighter future. 

Recorded during the run of The Trials on 16 August 2022.

Dawn King is an award-winning Writer working in theatre, film, TV, VR and radio. Her play THE TRIALS was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 2021. ADDICTIVE BEAT, a play for Boundless Theatre, UK, will be performed in a converted church in Southwark Park in September 2022. Her radical reinterpretation of THE CHERRY ORCHARD with director Katie Mitchell opens at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg in November 2022. She is also working on feature film PIG CHILD for Delaval Film and the BFI and adapting her play FOXFINDER for the screen with Elation Pictures and the BFI. Dawn’s previous work for the stage includes; FOXFINDER, BRAVE NEW WORLD, CIPHERS and SALT.

Natalie Abrahami is a theatre, opera and film Director. She was Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill from 2007-2012 and Associate Director at the Young Vic 2013-16. 

Natalie is currently working on two sustainably oriented productions: Dawn King’s The Trials for the Donmar Warehouse and Antonín Dvorák’s Rusalka for the Royal Opera House. 

Recent projects include: Good Grief (online), Swive [Elizabeth] (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), ANNA (National Theatre), The Meeting (Chichester Festival Theatre), Machinal (Almeida), Wings, Happy Days, After Miss Julie and Ah, Wilderness! (Young Vic); Queen Anne (Royal Shakespeare Company and Theatre Royal Haymarket). Film credits include Mayday, The Roof and Life’s a Pitch. 

Anjali Raman-Middleton is an A level student, environmental activist and co-founder of Choked Up, a campaign formed by black and brown young people to highlight the disproportionate impact toxic air pollution has on marginalised communities. Currently looking for gap year internships in environmental policy for September 2022-September 2023.

Tolmeia Gregory is a climate justice activist and digital artist, formerly known as ‘Tolly Dolly Posh’. Tolmeia launched her collection of animated stickers as a Varified Artist on the GIPHY platform. Alongside her activism, she works as a graphic designer and illustrator, collaborating with brands and clients on a variety of different projects and campaigns. Tolmeia is a resident artist at The Wilson, Cheltenham as part of the We Are Creators programme. She is also the host of the podcast, IDEALISTICALLY. 

Zoë Svendsen is an Associate Artist at the Donmar Warehouse and a Director, dramaturg and researcher. As Artistic Director of METIS Zoe creates research-led interdisciplinary performance projects exploring contemporary political subjects, including Love Letters to a Liveable Future (Season for Change/Cambridge Junction), Factory of the Future (Oslo Architecture Triennale), WE KNOW NOT WHAT WE MAY BE (Barbican Pit), World Factory (New Wolsey Theatre/ Young Vic), 3rd Ring Out – TippingPoint Commission Award. As dramaturg she has worked with Shakespeare’s Globe, Young Vic, the National Theatre and the RSC. Svendsen lectures in Drama and Performance at the University of Cambridge.

Clare Slater is the Head of New Work at the Donmar Warehouse.  She also works as a freelance adaptor and dramaturg.  She sits on the Creative Council of Shakespeare’s Globe and previously worked as Executive Director of the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill.  Prior to that, Clare was the Assistant Literary Manager at the National Theatre, and worked in TV and film development. 

Produced by Heather Pasfield with support from Josh Parr and Dadiow Lin for the Donmar Warehouse.

Audio Recording: Ed Borgnis, Simon Hendry, Max Hunter and Keegan Curran.

Audio Edit and Mix: Ed Borgnis


Further Reading

  • Naomi Klein, On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal (2019)
  • Kate Raworth, Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21 st -century Economist (2017)
  • Kate Fletcher, Earth Logic (2019) 
  • Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable (2017)
  • Amitav Ghosh, The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis (2021)
  • Cara Daggett, ‘Petromasculinity: Fossil Fuels and Authoritarian Desire’ in Millenium: Journal of International Studies (2018)
  • Indra Adnan, The Politics of Waking Up: Power and Possibility in the Fractal Age (2021)
  • George Monbiot, Out of the Wreckage: a New Politics for an Age of Crisis (2017)
  • Rob Nixon, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (2011)
  • Julie’s Bicycle – Creative Climate Justice Hub
  • Octavia Butler: The Parable of the Sower