See the show - save the planet
By contributor Theresa Roche
Bristol-based playwright Henrik Dahle is as passionate about theatre as he is about saving planet Earth - and his production company Gauntlett and Son reflects his profound interest in environmental issues.
Appropriately, the company, set up in 2004, is based in a building run by The Ethical Property Company (which owns four properties in Bristol) and all electricity used comes from a green energy provider.
Henrik, who is half-Norwegian, is greatly inspired by what he calls the "cleaner, greener great outdoors of Norway".
After training as a community arts practitioner, he started making films with a social conscience and decided to use theatre and film to raise public awareness of environmental issues.
"There are people bringing carbon awareness to business and industry, so why not to theatre?" he said.
"We hope that the play will get people thinking."
The play he refers to is The Last Line, an action-packed comedy full of drama, romance and suspense, which comes to Bristol's Tobacco Factory as a rehearsed reading.
The show features six characters battling with each other and with the words of the playwright, to achieve an ultimate goal – except they can't agree what that goal is!
Actors include Heidi Dorschler, who has worked with Kneehigh Theatre Company and Dave Rogers who has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company - and the show also features an unusual musical score, composed by Nathan Ng.
True to its ethos, Gauntlett and Son is producing the rehearsed reading in as ecologically friendly a way as possible.
The company hopes to reduces its carbon footprint and is working closely with the C-Change Trust, a carbon education charity. Henrik also hopes to use lighting methods for the stage which will use 80% less energy than normal.
And the audience is also being asked to join in, filling in a questionnaire that includes details about travel to the theatre.
At the interval the company will announce just how much carbon has been spent to make the show that evening
Henrik hopes the evening will springboard a full-scale production of The Last Line at a later date, with a proper stage set designed by architects who are interested in sustainable building.
There will also be an opportunity after the show for the audience to give the cast feedback and ideas.
"I’m hoping that as well as die-hard theatre lovers, people who don’t normally go to the theatre will want to come to this show," said Henrik.
The performed reading of The Last Line takes place at the Tobacco Factory in Southville on Sunday, 15 June at 7pm.
last updated: 27/05/2008 at 15:03
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