Manchester Theatre Awards

> Independent informed reviews by the region’s most experienced critics

Youth Panel Review: Climate of Fear

Contact Young Company
Contact Theatre
05 May 2016 to 06 May 2016

Contact Theatre is known to tackle complex social and political issues, most importantly it embraces and challenges the way theatre is viewed and presented by young people. The latest instalment from their Young Company Climate of Fear is no stranger to this legacy, addressing the complex issue of uncertainty in the Earth’s sustainability and remarkably created in just four weeks.

The performance consists of a series of powerful monologues, inspired by the political, social and economic injustices of climate change. The cast work well together, each owning the stage in turn and creating a level of intimacy by directly addressing the audience at times. They tackle the verbose monologues confidently, and have clearly considered the subject material thoroughly throughout the rehearsal process.

Each monologue in Climate of Fear was a well-articulated piece of drama in its own right, when put together the ensemble creates a powerful metaphor for the importance of standing together to bring strength to a worthwhile cause. This performance not only gives these talented young people a voice, it also reflects a larger cry for help from Mother Nature and features a well examined cross section of society.

The design team has assembled a unique collection of house plants and table lamps. Together these create an interesting visual juxtaposition to represent the importance of sustaining nature and our reliance on electricity and technology. Another creative devise uses projected images, featuring powerful photographs of nature and the impact on climate change. Although this technique helped to support the monologues’ themes, at times they did distract from the character’s voice and it might have been useful to limit the use of images to transitions between characters and scenes.

Altogether an impressive ensemble of well devised monologues and confident performances from Contact Young Company. A remarkable achievement in four weeks and an authoritative opening to Contact’s Flying Solo Festival.

Reviewer: Harriet Mallion


Comment by Georgina Wells

I agree with Harriet that the cast put in a confident performance as a collective. However, I feel that all of the monologues could benefit from being slightly shorter and therefore more focussed on their subject matter.