The Almeida Theatre announces SHIFTING TIDES – a new digital festival exploring the intersection between art and the climate crisis

Aimed at and created with 14 – 25 year olds, the festival takes place from Thursday 16 – Saturday 18 July via the Almeida’s digital platforms, and features brand new audio dramaworld premiere film screeningspanel discussions with artists and creatives, and online exhibitions.

At the centre of the festival is the world premiere of Ben Weatherill’s new audio drama As Waters Rise, performed by members of the Almeida Young Company.

The full programme includes:

• The world premiere of Ella Road’s short film Something Will Disappear, performed by a cast including Paterson JosephAnjana Vasan and Annie Firbank alongside Almeida Young Company actors.

• Two panel discussions, exploring the role of the arts and the impact of the pandemic on the climate crisis, with panellists including Culture Declares Emergency co-founder Kay Michael, activists Daze Aghaji and Noga Levy-Rapoport, playwright April De Angelis and rapper Louis VI.

• New plays, poetry and visual art created by young activists, following masterclasses with playwright Evan Placey, artist and designer Katherina Radeva and poet Selina Nwulu.

• A screening of Jack Cooper Stimpson and Sam Haygarth’s short comedy film Extinction, with a cast including Emma Thompson.

All events will be available for free via almeida.co.uk/shifting-tides. Attendees are required to register online beforehand.

 Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold said, “Although it has been suggested that the current pandemic may be having some positive environmental impacts, it’s vital the virus and its aftermath does not divert attention from the continuing climate emergency. Shifting Tides will further awareness and understanding and demonstrate the crucial role the arts can play in tackling this climate crisis. It will also shine a light on our extraordinary Participation department. During lockdown, while much of the organisation has lain dormant, our Participation team has been as busy as ever and this festival will provide further proof of the incredibly important work they do with young people and our local community.”

AUDIO DRAMA

World Premiere

AS WATERS RISE

By Ben Weatherill

Directed by Alex Brown; Sound: Martha Littlehailes; Music: Fizz Margereson

Thursday 16 July 5pm: Episode 1 – The Other Side of the River

Friday 17 July 5pm: Episode 2 – Near the Surface

Saturday 18 July 5pm: Episode 3 – Coming Up for Air  

Each episode will be available from the Almeida’s Soundcloud from 5pm on the day of release.

Performed by members of the Almeida Young Company (aged 14-18).

It’s rising. I know that sounds…but it’s the truth. It’s getting higher. And I remember saying if the rain doesn’t stop…then…

It’s summer and London is underwater.

In a broken world that was broken long before they were born, a group of young people grapple with the aftermath of the flood. When everything changes, what does it take to keep afloat no matter what?

As Waters Rise is a new audio drama about friendships and anarchy, resilience and anger. About the consequences of our actions, and who really pays for them.

A Q&A will take place at 7pm following the release of each episode with members of the company and creative team.

Ben Weatherill’s play Jellyfish ran at the Bush Theatre before transferring to the National Theatre. His other plays include Chicken Dust and Chronic.

Composer Fizz Margereson is part of the Almeida’s Resident Designers Programme, supported by a generous individual donor and Universal Music.

FILM SCREENINGS

EXTINCTION

Friday 17 July 2:30pm

The film will be streamed via the Almeida website.

“So the question is, how do we stop this?”

“The protests? Or the potential extinction of the human race?”

Extinction Rebellion has taken control of the streets. In the midst of this city-wide protest, a group of climate activists meet with a senior MP to discuss their demands.

Directed by Jack Cooper Stimpson and co-written by Cooper Stimpson and Sam Haygarth, with a cast including Gary BeadleWill BrownTom Glynn-CarneyCharlotte HamblinFrancis MageeNicholas RoweRakhee Thakrar and Emma Thompson.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with members of the cast and creative team.

World Premiere

SOMETHING WILL DISAPPEAR

 Saturday 18 July 2:30pm

The film will be streamed via the Almeida website.

The world premiere of this new short film written by Ella Road is a powerful call to arms to find a new way of living.

Cast: Maymuna AbdiRwan AsdeDylan CarrAnnie FirbankPaterson JosephAnjana Vasan.

Ella Road’s debut play The Phlebotomist premiered at the Hampstead Downstairs in spring 2018, and transferred to the Main House in spring 2019. The play was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate theatre, and was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with members of the cast and creative team.

PANEL DISCUSSIONS

WHERE ARE WE NOW?

 Thursday 16 July 2:30pm (1 hour)

The discussion will be streamed via the Almeida website.

 As global emissions come crashing down in the face of the coronavirus lockdown, what does it mean for the climate emergency?

Leading figures from across the climate crisis movement – activists, commentators and artists – discuss where the movement is now, what we have learnt during the pandemic and how we move forward.

Panellists include: Daze AghajiSharlene Gandhi, Noga Levy-Rapoport and Louis VI.

ART AND THE CLIMATE CRISIS

Friday 17 July 1pm (1 hour)

The discussion will be streamed via the Almeida website.

Artists, creatives and environmentalists discuss how the stories we choose to tell and the art that we create can shape and inform public understanding, engagement and action in response to the climate crisis.

Panellists include: Farah AhmedApril De AngelisKay Michael.

READINGS AND VIEWINGS

ART MATTERS – ART VIEWING AND PANEL DISCUSSION

 Thursday 16 July 4pm (1 hour)

The viewing will be streamed via the Almeida website.

Following an online masterclass with visual artist Katherina Radeva, a group of young activists reveal their artistic responses to the climate crisis. Radeva will be joined by artist Hayley Harrison whose work examines our disconnection with ‘nature’ via discarded materials.

Katherina Radeva is an award-winning set and costume designer, visual artist and creative collaborator. She has designed for theatre, performance, contemporary dance, site specific events, interactive installations and outdoor shows and her designs tour extensively in the UK, Europe and the wider world. She is also the Co-Artistic Director of Two Destination Language, an award-winning theatre company which tours around the UK and internationally.

POETRY OF PROTEST – READING

Friday 17 July 4pm (1 hour)

The readings will be streamed via the Almeida website.

Following an online masterclass with poet Selina Nwulu, a group of young activists reveal their artistic responses to the climate crisis.

Selina Nwulu is a writer and former Young Poet Laureate for London. She has written for outlets including The Guardian, Red Pepper, Sable Litmag, The Arts Society Magazine and the New Humanist. She was previously co-editor for women’s news portal, Women’s Views on News. As a poet, her work has been featured in Vogue, Blavity, i-D and ES Magazine. She has toured with her poetry nationally and internationally, including at Glastonbury, Edinburgh Fringe and StAnza Poetry Festival, as well as in Northern India with the British Council. In 2019, she was shortlisted for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize and published in the anthology, New Daughters of Africa.

WRITING THE CLIMATE – PLAY READINGS

 Saturday 18 July 4pm (1 hour)

The readings will be streamed via the Almeida website.

Following an online masterclass with playwright Evan Placey, a group of young activists reveal their artistic responses to the climate crisis.

Evan Placey’s work for adults and young audiences has been produced internationally and translated into multiple languages. He won the Brian Way Award for Holloway Jones, while Girls Like That won the Writers’ Guild Award for Best Play for Young Audiences, the Scenic Youth Prize and the Orpheon Bibliotheque Prize for Contemporary Theatre for Young Audiences in France and the Jugend Theatre Preis Baden-Wurttemberg in Germany. He teaches playwriting for the National Theatre and in prisons.