I will be writing/directing a new LAStheatre production about biodiversity-loss and wellbeing.
In 2019, London becomes the world’s National Park City – the greenest major city in Europe and the third greenest city of its size globally. However, over the next two generations, Earth’s cities will experience massive population growth and pressure will mount to relinquish our green spaces for development. This is not a fanciful idea; it has already begun. The Guardian recently reported that “the equivalent of 2.5 Hyde Parks [are lost] a year to new developments” in London – habitat and biodiversity-loss is occurring daily. This timely performance will allow us to pose the question:
If our National Park City is something worth celebrating, is it not also worth protecting?
Narrative: The year is 2070. ΖΩΗ (the audience) have hacked a government server and gained access to ecological records dating back to 2019. Records sealed by the Government fearing eco-terrorism if the extent of biodiversity-loss and its consequences were revealed. ΖΩΗ have never met in person, they communicate exclusively using an ancient, undetectable, system called mail. That is about to change. All members are called to unite as ΖΩΗ attempt to mine this new data for information on how to rescue their dying ecosystem. However, to access this information they must go online. ΖΩΗ have created an algorithm to process the data but there is one thing that the AI struggles to determine – the benefits that biodiversity and greenspace have for human beings. Instead within 6 experimental works stations, the AI will set tasks to be carried out by humans to determine this information. ΖΩΗ will only have 120 minutes before their identity and location will be compromised. Just 119 minutes to learn all they can.
By transporting the audience to the year 2070, we can paint a bleak but all too possible future that demonstrates what will happen to our environment if we continue to place human convenience at the apex of how we develop our physical environment. Within the world of the show, we can then look back to London in 2019 with 47% green space, 15,000 species and an ecosystem that was in relative balance. This will allow us to appreciate the privileged position we are currently in and the immense potential for loss (both to our ecosystem and our well-being) in the decades to come.
This production will, of course, discuss biodiversity-loss in its context as a global problem. A recent report by the WWF tells us that since 1970 humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations on Earth. Last November, the United Nations warned that the world must thrash out a new deal for nature in the next two years or humanity could be the first species to document our own extinction.
We are excited to already be working with partners including My Green Pod, London National Park City, UCL, London Wildlife Trust, Greenspace Information for Greater London and The Green Schools Project.