Theatre Review - Hot in Here

Climate change is fuelling many global humanitarian crises and Pigfoot’s  collaboration with the Gate and Camden People’s Theatre on this subject is both urgent and timely.

The company interweave the concerns of people living in the UK, performed by Leanne Henlon, Jade Franks and Tatenda Matsvai, with the testimonies of young climate activists worldwide who are experiencing first-hand the damage wrought on the environment.

They explore some shocking stories close to home. One woman miscarries because of pollution in London, another suffers a near-fatal asthma attack – both live in the poorer part of the city.  The negative side of fast fashion is highlighted, while a union rep worries about the UK dumping its plastic recycling in countries like Turkey and Kenya; causing untold damage. 

Hetty Hodgson’s energetic production reminds of our complicity in the global climate emergency and the benefits of shared action. In an invigorating moment, audience members are given posters to hold and become active participants in the action. We’re also invited to contribute to the energy-harvesting dancefloor by jumping on miniature platforms.

Hot in Here doesn’t hang together as well as it could. Its didactic tone won’t appeal to all and is unlikely to galvanize those still sitting on the fence. This occasionally makes one feel as though the company is preaching to the converted. Another niggle is that the actors’ lines don’t always mirror the projected text, which is distracting.

But this is heartfelt and necessary theatre and a pertinent reminder that our right to protest is being increasingly undermined by today’s government. The cast give it their all, while the powerful filmed testimonies at the end cannot fail to move.


To June 24

Originally published in Camden New Journal