This autumn, Boundless Theatre will present the world premiere of How To Save The Planet When You’re A Young Carer And Broke by multi-award-winning writer Nessah Muthy. This comic, slightly outrageous and complex piece aims to explore some of the most pressing issues facing all of us today. Directed by Stef O’Driscoll (A History of Water in the Middle East by Sabrina Mahfouz; Lit by Sophie Ellerby) it is a provocative exploration of the themes of class, being a young carer, legacy and existence.
Commissioned by Boundless Theatre, the work responds directly to conversations and provocations from Boundless’ Advisory Group and community of 15-25-year-olds who are demanding urgent responses to the climate emergency. This mobile, adaptable and sustainably made production represents a new model of working post-pandemic and will be performed in the heart of communities across London, in partnership with schools, young carer groups, climate activists and community organisations. Through collaboration with climate justice activist Daze Aghaji, the production will empower young audiences, particularly those under-represented in the current climate movement, to find ways in which they can be climate activists in their own lives.
Lavisha Smith is a mixed race, working class 14-year-old from the Roundshaw estate in Greater London. Lavisha was raised by her white mother, Faith, who has recently been forced back to work despite her disabilities.
Lavisha is smart and her intelligence has landed her in a top local grammar school, but she’s struggling and lonely. She has been side-lined by her old friends and is constantly clashing with more middle-class, climate-protesting peers at her new school. It’s not that she doesn’t get climate change, of course she does and it terrifies her, but for Lavisha there are more immediate issues, like making sure Mum doesn’t faint again because her iron levels are so low.
Lavisha is a funny, kind and talented girl and this is her first encounter of real class struggle and existentialism. She also finds Greta Thunberg kind of hot when she’s angry… in all seriousness though: the planet’s imploding, but so are so many parts of Lavisha’s own life – can you really be working class and save the planet?
Underpinning the entire piece is the question, where does working class identity and climate change activism intersect? Undoubtedly young people are at the heart of the protest and those who will be most adversely affected by climate change. It therefore is pertinent that this debate and the specificity of this question is voiced by a teenager of today.
Artistic Director Rob Drummer comments, ‘When Nessah brought the idea for the play to me I knew instantly we had to commission it. The passionate, intersectional and inspiring conversations we have at Boundless with our community about climate action, climate justice and how to save the planet are perfectly represented in this show. We’re continuing our own journey in sustainable practice and recovery post-pandemic and that means producing in new ways and with new partners which is so exciting. The whole team are working their socks off to connect with our audiences and support those who most need our help as well as using theatre for what it is uniquely best at, starting conversations about the most urgent of issues we all face.’
How To Save The Planet When You’re A Young Carer And Broke tours London in November, Tickets are available from the Boundless website.