Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

UK Playwrights 'Two Joes' Turn Climate Crisis into a Drama of Hope

UK Playwrights ‘Two Joes’ Turn Climate Crisis into a Drama of Hope

Image 1
Image 2

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, England (Reuters) – British playwrights Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy, affectionately known as “the two Joes,” have begun researching a sequel to their drama “Kyoto,” currently running at the Royal Shakespeare Company until Saturday.

Robertson and Murphy gained significant acclaim with “The Jungle,” a sold-out play that premiered in 2017 and was inspired by their experience running a theatre in the Jungle refugee camp in Calais, France. Their Good Chance company also played a key role in “The Walk,” a journey spanning thousands of miles featuring a puppet named Little Amal, representing a Syrian refugee, which included an appearance at the 2021 U.N. climate talks.

The Kyoto Protocol of 1997 caught their interest as “a parable of agreement.”

“We began with a feeling of great despair at a habit of disagreement,” Joe Murphy mentioned, reflecting on societal divisions.

“We have got to reclaim the joy of consensus,” Joe Robertson added.

Their play “Kyoto” is the first installment in their “Carbon Cycle” series and acknowledges that while the protocol established in Japan was an important step with the first binding targets to curb emissions, it was just a momentary agreement.

The upcoming sequel will focus on the Copenhagen U.N. talks, known for their inability to reach a binding agreement, yet still leading to future progress, including efforts within theatres to minimize emissions.

The Royal Shakespeare Company is actively using the latest Theatre Green Book, a manual for eliminating waste, in its operations. Alongside “Kyoto,” the RSC hosted its own “Kyoto Conference” in Stratford-upon-Avon. Speakers at the event included U.S actor Stephen Kunken, who portrays the Washington lawyer Don Pearlman, a character working for the oil lobby to undermine any agreements.

Like the two Joes, Kunken praised theatre’s power to reveal the shared humanity that unites people, making them laugh or cry together.

“There’s something that happens when you work on a play; you come to agree,” Kunken observed. “The theatre is the place to find agreement.”

Source: Reuters, Royal Shakespeare Company