Norwich Theatre has launched its boldest themed season to date. Creative Matters: Climate Stories will explore the most pressing issue of our time, asking how we can use creativity to explore the climate crisis and present ways in which all of us can influence our collective future.
In a move which sees Creative Matters evolve from a month-long season to a year-long exploration, Norwich Theatre will use storytelling and involve many creatives, thinkers, activists and partners in activities and performances to stimulate discussion and make connections. An early partner is the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research who are providing scientific expertise and advice.
There are a range of Creative Matters: Climate Stories on sale now, including Theatre Makers: Valued Voices – a creative session exploring how we might creatively record climate narrative and be a voice for change and action. For children aged 7-11 years, The Wish Gatherer is the first instalment in English Touring Opera’s trilogy of Climate Change operas. Made in collaboration with the pioneering green non-profit Julie’s Bicycle, it explores the impact of climate change on the natural world. Shewolves is an uplifting coming-of-age comedy about two girls with a hunger to tackle climate change. More shows and activities will be announced throughout the year.
Stephen Crocker, Chief Executive and Creative Director of Norwich Theatre, said: “Creative Matters originated from a need to listen, discuss and understand contemporary issues and current affairs. It felt crucial to give the focus of our first year-long approach to Creative Matters to the climate, and to take the time over this year to really explore the topic and the many avenues within it, whether that is eco-anxiety, protesting, sustainability, telling more diverse stories, or increasing a sense of belonging and collective action.
“Through our theatres and other cultural venues across Norfolk, we offer a safe space for audiences to contemplate, be challenged, to learn and negotiate new thoughts. This season creates a space where they are supported to grapple with both positive and negative feelings around the climate crisis and constructively build their own path, and bridges with others.”
Asher Minns, Executive Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research said: “Norfolk is the UK County at the front line of climate change, whether it is powering the nation with its clean renewable energy or facing into North Sea floods, summer wildfires and droughts. Climate Stories brings soul and emotion and feeling to all the scientific numbers. It makes space for all the conversations that need in happen about today and tomorrow to help with the void that can help transform climate anxiety and despair into positive outcomes.”
Over the year Norwich Theatre will work with partners at every level, from individual creatives and activists to organisations such as Friends of the Earth and The Norwich Climate Commission. The Theatre is keen to hear from other organisations, charities and individuals who can bring different narratives and lived experiences to the project and who can amplify the conversation.
Stephen added: “Inspired by the Climate Stories being told and our desire to use creativity to influence our collective future, Norwich Theatre will also make its own commitment to sustainability, and by the end of the year we hope to share our formal net zero pledge.”