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The Royal Court presents 2071

2071Following the success of Ten Billion, Director Katie Mitchell returns to the issue of climate change in 2071.

​Mitchell collaborates with writer Duncan Macmillan and scientist Chris Rapley. 2071 is a co-production with The Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Hamburg.

What is happening to our climate? What do we know and how do we know it? What could the future look like?

In a year’s time in Paris, the governments of the world will meet to decide on action against climate change. The agreements they reach will shape our future, that of our grandchildren and of generations beyond. One of the world’s most influential climate scientists and former Director of the Science Museum, Professor Chris Rapley, considers the science that will guide their discussions.

This energetic collaboration between Chris Rapley, playwright Duncan Macmillan (Headlong’s 1984, Lungs) and internationally renowned director Katie Mitchell (Ten Billion, Lungs, Wastwater, Waves) covers what many believe is the most important issue of our time. It aims to present what science can tell us about our climate – past, present and future – and what options lie before us.

The Earth is a hugely complex system, and our knowledge of it contains many gaps, uncertainties and apparent contradictions. An extremely emotive issue, climate change needs to be addressed collectively, with mutual respect and humility. Rapley, Macmillan and Mitchell will unwrap this complex and contested issue in a unique piece of theatre.

Writer and director Duncan Macmillan will be working at the Royal Court for the first time with 2071. Most recently, his production of 1984, created with Robert Icke transferred to the West End after runs at the Nottingham Playhouse and Almeida. He has worked with Katie Mitchell on several occasions, including on The Forbidden Zone at Salzburg Festival this summer, which will also be live-streamed at the Barbican, on Lungs at the Schabuehne in Berlin and on Reise durch die Nacht at the Deutsches Schauspiehaus in Hamburg. His play Lungs for Paines Plough won Best Play at the Off West End Awards and the CBS Outstanding Drama Award.

Director Katie Mitchell’s recent credits at the Royal Court include Ten Billion, Simon Stephens’ Wastwater and Martin Crimp’s The City. Her work with Duncan Macmillan includes The Forbidden Zone, Lungs and Reise Durch die Nacht. Other credits include The Trial of Ubu Roi at Hampstead Theatre, After Dido for English National Opera and the Young Vic, and A Woman Killed With Kindness, Pains of Youth, some trace of her, Waves, Three Sisters and The Seagull at the National Theatre. Her production of The Cherry Orchard is currently playing at the Young Vic.

Scientist Chris Rapley CBE is Professor of Climate Science at University College London and Chair of the London Climate Change Partnership. He was director of the Science Museum from 2007 to 2010 and awarded the Edinburgh Science Medal. He was Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme IGBP from 1994-1998, and Director of the British Antarctic Survey from 1998-2007.

The Big Idea: 2071
The Big Idea is a new strand of work at the Royal Court launched during last year’s Open Court festival, offering audiences radical thinking and provocative discussion inspired by the work on stage.

Duncan Macmillan, Katie Mitchell and Chris Rapley in conversation
Tuesday 11 November, post-show
Jerwood Theatre Downstairs

Day of Action
Saturday 15 November
Join climatologists, environmentalists and other experts offering up practical advice on how we might fight climate change, including a discussion on the role of artists in fighting climate change.

Royal Court: Hamburg
2071 by Duncan Macmillan and Chris Rapley, directed by Katie Mitchell will play at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg for six performances.
17-18 December 2014; 8-9 January 2015; 18-19 February 2015


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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