Sam Haygarth: Climate Crisis
- Murray Robertson
- 23 August 2019
Polemical storytelling that struggles to find the comedic
As the pun-free title suggests, Climate Crisis is no barrel of laughs. Performer Sam Haygarth describes it as 'a comedy show about climate change', and while there are laughs scattered throughout, this is really a piece of personal storytelling infused with ferocious polemic. We quickly learn that our host was recently up in court after supergluing his hand outside a fossil-fuel conference, and from there he looks back over the events that led to his arrest.
Haygarth explains how, after an epiphany about the environment, he stumbled upon protest group du jour Extinction Rebellion who, at the time, were practically unheard of. He is vehemently passionate about the environment, furiously articulating his frustration about what's happening to the world around him, and when he quotes an indigenous tribe leader desperately explaining that the tiniest rise in global temperature will eradicate everyone she knows, her plight renders the room silent.
There's a pleasing cadence to Climate Crisis with lighting changes signifying swingeing shifts in mood. This helps maintain the audience's focus throughout a show which veers at the drop of a hat from the end of humankind to funny French voices. But while Haygarth employs humour to help keep us on board, the moribund state of contemporary politics looms large over proceedings, and as a piece of comedy, it's lacking. Ultimately, Haygarth can't hide his fear that this endeavour is already doomed. But he'll carry on doing what he can, hoping to inspire others to join the cause before it's too late.
Just the Tonic at The Mash House, until 25 Aug, 6.35pm, donations at the venue.