19 – 20 September 2015
Theater Bonn: Save The World II
Halle Beuel, Bonn Germany
“I’m so small and the world is so big,
the problem is so big and I am so small.”
The vast area of the Großer Malersaal provided inspiration for this fifteen minute long piece about climate change. Made as a companion piece to Of All The People In All The World: Bonn, which was installed in a neighbouring room, Small People with Big Feet took a different, but related approach to scale. The radio between the area of the room and the area of the surface of the earth was calculated, then audience helped to mark the area covered by oceans using blue ribbon, to stand on white ribbon of the polar regions or the yellow ribbon of the hot desert regions and watch as the world’s agricultural land is measured out with a green ribbon..
Then asked to gather in close, the audience see how they and the rest of the world’s population could be stand together on Cyprus. The area of Germany is marked out in cardboard as are ten major cities that are build within 6m of sea level, they are placed by the blue ribbon and the fluidity of the ribbons is explained.
The Average Citizen of Germany is wheeled on, comfortably seated on a throne of 330 (1 ton) of bricks, audience members play the less comfortable average citizens of Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Burundi, making thrones of 15, 2 and 1 bricks respectively.
The Average Citizen of Germany is persuaded that bricks need to be sacrificed to stop global warming and haggling takes place as to what should be given up in exchange for how many bricks. When it is suggested the uncomfortable thrones could be augmented with bricks that had previously been Germany’s it is made clear that bricks have to leave the system and not just exchanged. Germany produces a solution, an inflatable chair is comfortable and requires no bricks at all.
At this point The Average Citizen of China arrives. An argument is developing about carbon trading and export when an alarm goes off. Time is up, the arguing has gone on too long, there hasn’t been enough action.
The lights go out and away in the distance a model Earth is illuminated, we are told of how Armstrong and Aldrin stood on the moon and looked back on the earth. The Earth without countries, or ribbons or thrones, also an Earth that does not care about us.
In tandem with this presentation Save the World commissioned a version of Of All The People In All The World to take climate change as its theme.
Devised and performed by: Okka Lou Mathis, Matthias Ruchser & James Yarker
Additional performer: Nuria Catalan
Scenic, lighting and sound design: James Yarker
Photographs: Jake Oldershaw & Thilo Beu
Administrator: Rowena Wilding
Executive Producer: Roisin Caffrey