Sunday 26 June 2016

Blurring reality with Kill Climate Deniers

I first came across David Finnigan's work at the 2013 Melbourne Fringe Festival show, Kids Killing Kids. In this, Finnigan and three other playmakers responded to the worldwide response they received to their adaptation of the Japanese novel/manga/film Battle Royale. It was an incredibly thought provoking piece on the responsibilities theatre makers have to their cast, their audience and the wider community. Kill Climate Deniers, is Finnigans' most recent work, which despite not even been staged yet, has already received much media scrutiny.

Kill Climate Deniers revolves around one evening where 96 armed eco-terrorists who - while Fleetwood Mac are performing a concert at Parliament House - take over the building and threaten to execute everyone inside, including the Environment Minister unless the Prime Minister puts a stop to climate change.

The play began to garner national attention when it was "bolted" in October 2014 after the ACT Government provided $18000 to Aspen Island Theatre Company to assist with the cost of the creative development of the work. In case you're unclear what "bolted" means, Finnigan describes the term as "when conservative commentator Andrew Bolt write a hitpiece about you".

Finnigan has used his "bolting" to his advantage and created a second story within Kill Climate Deniers. While we have the linear narrative of what is happening in Parliament House, the acts are separated with Finnigan discussing his writing of Kill Climate Deniers and his being "bolted". However, this story is in a universe where the events in Kill Climate Deniers have eventuated because of the play, and the ramifications of having promoted terrorism through his story. 

When most action narratives these days tend to have a male hero and a male villain with the occasional woman as the seductress, all the characters in this story are women. Considering the disproportionate number of women to men in politics (and terrorism), it was refreshing to see this portrayal without any emphasis on or acknowledgement of their sex.

The show is progressing to a full production, recently holding a semi-staged screening called (An Attempt To Perform) Kill Climate Deniers and will be launching its 80s and 90s inspired soundtrack during this year's Melbourne Fringe Festival. Included on the soundtrack will be the song “Bolted”, which takes its lyrics from Bolt’s article, and from comments on the article and elsewhere.

Kill Climate Deniers is definitely a show worth keeping your eyes out for, but if you can’t wait until you eventually get to see it, then you can purchase the play-script from the Kill Climate Deniers website.

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