By Belgrade Young Company with Justine Themen, Liz Mytton and Claire Procter. Presented by Belgrade Youth Theatre.
There are strange cracks appearing in the land on the other side of the world, turning habitats into wastelands and creating a new wave of climate refugees.
But no one’s worrying about that here – where a mayoral candidate is promising more, more, more. It’s what the people want. Apart from Maru that is, who can’t breathe.
As we enter Coventry’s year of culture, the Belgrade Youth Theatre present Like There’s No Tomorrow – one of the first National Theatre Connections plays to be created by young people, originally devised by Belgrade’s Young Company in March 2020. With a new and different approach, informed and shaped by the turbulent direction our lives have taken since the play was written, it asks should we still care about the earth we live on?
Bringing together young talent from across Belgrade’s Youth Theatre and joining groups all over the country to stage the play as part of the NT Connections programme, Like There’s No Tomorrow gives voice to young people’s concerns about climate change at a time when the future has never looked more uncertain.
Contains two instances of strong language.
Parent 1 Worried 4 – Alexandra Gummery
Campaigner 2, Villager 2, Child, Tipper 2, Crowd 1, Reporter (Company) – Archie Hills
Bobby Brunt, Community member – Ben Bingham
Luca – Daniel Smith
Georgie, Community member , Villager 3, YouTuber, Worried 3, Crowd 2 – Elijah Ayo
Maru – Hamza Tariq
Elder, Teacher, Tree, Neighbour, Chancer Pastor, Worried 2, Driver, Crowd 2 & 3 (Company) – Ifeoluwa Owalabi
Parent 2 – Kai Jagpal
Teen, Campaigner 1, Reporter, Villager, Mother, Negative Nelly, Journalist, Aide & Worried 1 (Company) – Lena Kozik
Asha, Teen, Mother, Neighbour, Child & Tipper (Company) – Maymoonah Aldhafeeri
Community Member, Fin – Megan Nicholson
Co-Directors – Leon Phillips & Katherine Allen
Film Maker/ Editor – Craig Bush
Animation – Gemma Foy
Original Music & Soundscape – Christof R Davis
Production Manager – Keith Tunstill
Stage Manager – Arran Pallan
Producer – Hannah Barker
This show is important now for 2 reasons, firstly for the past year and a half the world has been in a crisis with the pandemic that has occurred, people have been forced to isolate. And things haven’t always been clear especially for young people. At the Belgrade we decided that we were going to continue to work with our participants online, until we were certain that the pandemic was coming to an end, this would form some level of stability in the lives of the young people we work with.
The second reason links to the fact that this show was created by young people to be performed by young people. The creation of this show meant that the Young Company had a platform to have their voices heard, and the fact that the show is now part of NT Connections means that their voices will be echoed by many young people around the country, and at the same time those young people who think and feel the same as the Young Company and all those millions of young protesters will have their own platforms to spread their messages.
I don’t think any of us thought that we’d ever work on turning a show that was meant for stage, into a show for the screen. We’ll probably never work in this exact same way again, but I’m sure this experience will stay with us forever! #OnceInALifetime
Leon Phillips – Co-Director, Belgrade Youth Theatre
I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the most fantastic young people since I started at the Belgrade. I suppose the most important thing I’ve learnt from the young people of Coventry, is that no matter what challenges are put in front of them, they will never cease to amaze you with their resilience, creativity and ability to make you laugh out loud.
The world has asked a lot of our young people over the last year. We’ve asked them to give up so much, largely to protect the health of adults – and they’ve done it. This sense of social responsibility is something we see again in the approach of young people the world over, to tackling climate change. More than one member of our cast has used the phrase: “the future is in our hands” during the rehearsal process; and I can only conclude that the hands that hold the future are a safe pair.
Over the last year or more, we’ve all spent so much time in our own spaces. To me, this project has allowed us to feel part of something big. Not only are we coming together as a group every week to rehearse this show, but so are companies up and down the country; who approach the piece in their own unique ways, whatever these may be.
“We showed that we are united and that we, young people, are unstoppable.” – Greta Thunberg, UN Youth Summit, New York City, 21st September 2019
Katherine Allen – Co-Director, Belgrade Youth Theatre
#LTNT #BelgradeYoungCompany @JustineThemen