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  • Henry Longstaff

HOT IN HERE - Camden People's Theatre

Global climate activists take centre stage


Pigfoot theatre are back following the success of How to Save a Rock but this time instead of a bicycle powering their show, the award-winning, carbon-neutral company have flexed their innovative muscles and delivered energy-harvesting dance floors. Which of course makes this one hell of an energy-generating dance party!

Hot in Here leads us through several hypothetical, yet acutely accurate, scenarios and characters highlighting the impacts and struggles the ongoing climate crisis has and is going to place upon us in the very near future. From the obvious factors to rising global temperatures through to freak weather such as flooding and access to clean air, the stories are warnings of what is yet to come if society and governments refuse to change their approach.

Grounding this production in uncomfortable reality is the regular use of interview footage from young, global climate activists who are fighting on the front lines of the climate disaster. Pigfoot has given them a platform to share their meticulous insights with a UK audience that has grown accustomed to seeing bold headlines but not hearing the heartbreaking stories behind them. Hot in Here is at its best when elevating these voices and impressively delivering the significance of their words whilst also injecting hope and inspiration at the same time.

As for the live performance, sadly it feels like something is missing. The performers bring huge levels of energy, heart and presence to the production but at times the core substance fails to materialise and adds only smidgens of new detail to the wider conversation. However, younger audiences, who may be newer to the climate movement, would benefit massively from experiencing this play.

An impressive cardboard set, created by Sascha Gilmour fills the space and works nicely to catch the projection of Ryan Samuel Davies’s video design - however on occasion the actor’s blocking limited the visibility of this. Gilmour has also done some lovely work using salvaged or used material to create vibrant and effective costumes, adding to the ethos of the production.

As a fan of Pigfoot and having been lucky enough to see a work-in-progress version of this play, I have enjoyed seeing this production develop and grow but in its current form, the production is confused in what it wants an audience to take away. As a piece of theatre, it struggles to take shape and feel polished, especially in its tech operation - far too many mistimed cues and projected text falling off the set for a finished production. That being said, there is still so much good here - the performances are fantastic, the design excellent and the prominence of real voices in the climate struggle is remarkably powerful. With more time and development I am sure this production can find its spark and flourish as it deserves to.

On tour till 3 November - Tickets

Photography - Greta Mitchell

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