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The company will start online rehersals for a new play featuring a 200-member cast. Directed by Paul Roseby OBE, the production will be carried out in collaboration with University of Hull’s Energy and Environment Institute – in order to raise awareness about global warming and help society to adapt to climate change by using sustainable power sources.

You can’t stop the beat, or the theatre, or the creativity of those involved with it. These last weeks have not prevented the performing arts from entertaining audiences or even defending the causes some companies believe in. And the National Youth Theatre is by no means an exception. Starting next May, the group will hold online rehearsals to put on an new play called MELT, which focuses on the global warming threat. Led by the institution’s Artistic Director, Paul Roseby OBE, the project is created in collaboration with climate scientists from the University of Hull’s Energy and Environment Institute, whose goal is to help society adapt to climate change through innovation in offshore wind and low carbon technologies.

“I hate to be the voice of doom at a time when we’re all stuck in the world of Zoom and isolation but we cannot let our creative hearts and minds ignore the critical issue that is the climate crisis”, says Paul Roseby. “A year on from Extinction Rebellion and its resulting awareness and division, MELT will seek to galvanize hundreds of Britain’s best young creative voices from across the UK to animate a series of stories founded in scientific fact but told in imaginative bold.  Equally important, is how MELT is being designed with thanks to our collaboration with the University of Hull to drive positive social and environmental change. This unique partnership will focus not only on the impact of rapid melting polar ice caps and the consequences of increased flooding and famine, but also on how to directly inspire and connect young people to long term careers in sustainable local industries in and around the East Coast of England.”

Featuring a cast of 200 members, the creative team is also formed by Joel Scott (Artistic Director at Goat and Monkey and Associate Artist with Punchdrunk) and Zoe Lafferty (Associate Director of The Freedom Theatre, Palestine).  A first showcase of the work will be shared digitally on June 20th, coinciding with the Summer Solstice. The display will also include an invitation to British youngters to join a talk regarding the climate change issue. The programme finale will see a large-scale processional outdoor piece, which will travel through cities and sites on the East Coast of England in 2021/22 – dates and locations to be announced in due course.

The June 20th performance will be available to watch on the following link.

By Guillermo Názara