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Review: Kill Climate Deniers, at Pleasance Theatre

13 June, 2019 — By Clair Chapwell

Felicity Ward in Kill Climate Deniers. Photo: Ali Wright

NOW, there’s a title to be reckoned with. I’ve certainly listened to certain interviews with certain climate deniers as I ground my teeth thinking those very words.

It has big shoes to fill with that title and as the audience files in we are confronted with an overture of noise and chaos – a set of televisions with abrasive telly personalities shouting about the misuse of taxpayers’ (Australian) dollar funding a show called Kill Climate Deniers.

The show begins with the “writer” Finig (Nathan Coenen). First line: “The first thing I got wrong was the title.”

Throughout the play Finig returns to the theme – how much trouble the title was causing him. He has predicted the rage of Conservatives to this title and hoped it would inspire terrorists to use the play as a manual.

It’s a brave play on the hugest of subjects and sometimes because of its enormous complexity it’s hard to follow. It’s also hard to follow because we’re fighting against our own guilt and complicity in the climate-change scenario.

In time-honoured tradition the devil gets the best lines and the most effective relationship is wacky duo environment minister Gwen Malkin (Felicity Ward) and her media troubleshooter Bekken (Kelly Paterniti).

Malkin has a disastrous radio interview with a shock jock as she attempts to explain the government’s $75 billion plan to block out the sun.

There’s much comic mileage for a fabulous duo who land up in Australia’s Parliament House for a Fleetwood Mac concert raided by eco-terrorists. Those terrorists, Catch (Bec Hill) and Throat (Hannah Ellis Ryan), get the less enviable task of telling us about the post climate change/post-apocalyptic world in between threatening to shoot audience members. And here things unravel a little.

A strong cast of four women play many parts. Who is who? Who died? Why? Past caring. The show is big and noisy and chaotic – orange rifles, smoke, wild lighting states. As with the climate change argument so often the horror overwhelms and deadens. Can’t take it on board.

Not happening. Then a final tender scene. A mum and daughter. Sadness. And it all comes home.

Until June 28
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