In this divided world, a show about climate change could feasibly elicit excitement or groans of despair, but David Finnigan’s You’re Safe Til 2024: Deep History, playing at the Pleasance Courtyard this Edinburgh Fringe, might just be the show to unite us all.
“Theatre changes people’s minds in a way that science can’t” says David, but crucially You’re Safe Til 2024: Deep History doesn’t try to share a particular agenda. Instead the audience is presented with facts, mixed with theatrical storytelling, and left to reach their own conclusion.
While the production comes across a bit like a TED Talk, it is theatrical in the sense of David Finnigan’s delivery. Armed with a TV and a Laptop, David explains the reality that we all now face living in the Climate Age.
This isn’t catastrophising on stage, it’s exploring humanity’s past and examining the lessons that can be learned. There’s a protagonist in the story, an unnamed female that is reincarnated into key points in the last 75,000 years, at times when humanity faced its toughest challenges, but crucially, survived.
Interspersed with these journeys to the past, David shares stories of family and friends. His father, a climate scientist had given David a good grounding in the subject.
But it’s the story of his best friend that resonates the most, trapped at the end of 2019, when Australia was hit by the worst fires in the country’s recorded history, and an area the size of England burned. These moments of the show are terrifying, moving and compelling, but still hopeful.
David Finnigan is a natural performer, engaging with the audience, his passion and knowledge of the subject is palpable and overall it makes for a wholly cathartic experience, as each audience member must ultimately accept and own their own view of the climate crisis.
As we are all global citizens living through the climate era, You’re Safe Til 2024: Deep History is a must-see piece of theatre that might not necessarily change minds, but will certainly give everyone who sees it a sense of the future we face, never has the phrase forewarned is forearmed been so important.