24th Jun, 2021

Belgrade's City of Culture year launches with new digital version of climate change play - co-created by young actors

YOUNG actors from Coventry have helped to create and film a new play about climate change for City of Culture. Like There’s No Tomorrow will available to stream online from Wednesday May 19.

This 2020 commission by the National Theatre in London is their first ever theatre project co-written by young people rather than adult professional playwrights, as part of the NT Connections Programme.

A brand new digital version from the Belgrade Young Company launches the theatre’s City of Culture programme.

Justine Themen one of the Belgrade’s three Co-Artistic Directors, who co-created and directed the original stage version of Like There’s No Tomorrow with Claire Procter in 2020, said: “We chose to make a piece about climate change because it is the urgent issue of our time – and what better way to have impact than to be reaching and inspiring young people across the country.

“We are so delighted that the play has been chosen for performance by 20 youth groups from Plymouth to Falkirk and is also being performed by one of our own youth theatres.

“The play was co-created with our 2020 Young Company, a group of young people aged 13 to 26 showing particular flare for theatre making and an interest in climate change.

“They were involved at every stage of the process from the exploration of the subject matter to shaping the narrative to improvising the dialogue – a true reflection of the Belgrade’s collaborative process for making participatory theatre, building on its strong history of Theatre in Education practises.

“As a result, the play is a rich reflection of young peoples thoughts and ideas about the crisis that the world finds itself in – plenty of fear, but also plenty of hope. We hope the show helps people to understand the urgent need for global thinking and systemic change and to think about how they can contribute.”

In Like There’s No Tomorrow strange cracks are appearing in the land on the other side of the world, turning habitats into wastelands and creating a new wave of climate refugees. But no one is worrying about that in the UK – where a mayoral candidate is promising more, more, more. Apart from Maru who cannot breathe.

The words and ideas of Coventry’s Young People are now being amplified around the country through the NT Connections Festival 2021, in which 20 different youth groups from Plymouth to Falkirk are staging the play in various formats, both live and digital.

On Friday June 4 and Saturday June 5 the Belgrade is also hosting the region’s NT Connections Festival online, showcasing the work of all participating youth companies. Young people will then be invited to connect, discuss and celebrate their work and process in post-show forums.

Tickets are free, with an optional donation to support the Belgrade, 10% of all the online donations will also go to support Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.

Lindsay Butler, Director of Marketing and Fundraising for the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, said: “Warwickshire Wildlife Trust has launched a £3million Nature Recovery Fund Appeal to buy land of low wildlife value, improve this land by restoring lost habitats and reconnect people with nature at a scale we have not done before. Any donations made to ‘Like There’s No Tomorrow’ will help us to take local action in response to the global problems facing our natural world. To learn more about our appeal visit warwickshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/appeal.”

Like There’s No Tomorrow will be available to stream from Weds 19 May – Sun 13 June. Book online at belgrade.co.uk.

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