Can you be poor and working class but still save the planet?
Boundless Theatre’s How To Save The Planet When You’re A Young Carer And Broke answers this question with a resounding yes.
Written by Nessah Muthy and directed by Stef O’Driscoll, the play explores how the issues of climate change, class and ethnicity intersect. Timed to coincide with COP26, the play could hardly be more topical. Nor could the issues raised be more important.
Lavisha Smith is a mixed race, working class 14-year-old, raised by her white mother, Faith, who has recently been forced back to work despite her disabilities. She’s smart but unlike her climate protesting peers at the local grammar school, she has lots of immediate and pressing problems to deal with as she is Faith’s primary carer.
Elizabeth Ayodele plays Lavisha in this one-person show and talked to Leslie Manasseh about the play
Of Lavisha, she said, “she has 99 problems of which climate change is just one”. But, when confronted with climate change activism, Lavisha “goes on this huge journey and meets her polar opposite….she learns and grows and comes to realise how she can do something about climate change….and it doesn’t have to be eye-grabbing”.
The play is about Lavisha’s relationship with her mother and the struggles in her life but also her “personal journey which highlights that climate change affects every community and every individual can do something about it”
The play deals with a very serious issue, but it’s not without humour. As Ayodele said “Lavisha is also a teenager with a teenager’s capacity to have a laugh”.
While clearly aimed at young people – who are after all likely to be the most affected by climate change – Ayodele neatly summed up its purpose as “to open up a conversation with communities who might not be having it yet”.
I asked her why the people of Brixton should go to see the play. Her answer was that it will be a good night out, with free pizza, and an opportunity to take part in perhaps the most important conversation of our times.
This mobile, adaptable and sustainably made production is being performed in partnership with London-based schools, young carer groups, climate activists and community organisations.
It runs from 9 to 20 November in a variety of venues.
Tickets are available from the Boundless website
9 November in Bermondsey Campus Community Space Clements Road, London SE16 4DG. Tickets from the Boundless website
10 – 11 November Theatre Peckham, 221 Havil Street, London SE5 7SB. Tickets from www.theatrepeckham.co.uk
13 November Hackney Showroom, 4 Murrain Road, London N4 2BN. Tickets from www.hackneyshowroom.com/how-to-save-the-planet/
17 November Somerstown Community Centre,150 Ossulston Street, London NW1 1EE. Tickets from from the Boundless website
18 November Fitzrovia Youth in Action, 66-68 Warren St, London W1T 5NZ. Tickets from the Boundless website
19 – 20 November Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8EH. Tickets from www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/2021/how-to-save-the-planet/