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Eden Court Theatre in Inverness to mount Climate of Hope festival to tie in with COP26 UN Climate Change Conference due to take place in Glasgow in November


By Gregor White

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Dancer Penny Chivas will perform Burnt Out as a solo piece at the festival.
Dancer Penny Chivas will perform Burnt Out as a solo piece at the festival.

Public performances, film screenings and a chance for members of the public to get directly involved are set to mark out a timely new city festival.

The Climate of Hope event, led by Eden Court, will take place from September 24 to November 13, marking the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference due to take place in Glasgow.

With all events either free or staged on a “pay what you can” basis the festival begins on Saturday with Thar Abhainn Nis (Across the Ness) which will see dancers moving along either side of the river in a performance considering waterways as both barriers and connectors and an integral part of the city.

Invisible Dances on October 9 and 10 will also see dancers on the city streets at midnight, pursued by “tracers” visualising the dance with biodegradable chalk spray and leaving the city’s streets awash with colour by the morning, while Burnt Out will see a solo performance from dancer Penny Chivas.

Elsewhere, there will be screenings of five films from the Take One Action Festival, the UK’s leading global change film festival, and four from the UK Green Film Festival.

There will also be many opportunities for the public to get directly involved, including creative writing event Writing the Waves, climate-themed activities in Holiday Happenings from Home, and a special day on Sunday, October 3 when Fun Palaces, the campaign for cultural democracy, will take over to create a community-driven, climate-themed, family-friendly event.

Digital adventure Anthropocene: The Human Era is one of the shows set to feature.
Digital adventure Anthropocene: The Human Era is one of the shows set to feature.

Digital performance Anthropocene: The Human Era will work as a climate crisis-themed multiple-choice adventure.

Eden Court recently published its own environment policy, outlining its commitment to taking action and playing a meaningful role in tackling the climate crisis, and chief executive James Mackenzie-Blackman said: “The climate crisis is one of the most urgent issues facing humanity.

“Our Climate of Hope season will create a multitude of ways for audiences and participants to engage with these issues with varied levels of active participation, so whether you want to watch a climate-related movie or more directly take part in climate action please do get involved.”

Engagement producer and co-manager of Eden Court’s environment and climate crisis group, Louise Marshall, said: “The fact that Eden Court is stepping up to face the climate crisis makes me proud to work here, and hopeful that we can influence other organisations to do the same, especially in the Highlands.

“The Climate of Hope programme is for everyone because the climate crisis is affecting everyone.”

The theatre’s climate crisis artist for change, Ink Asher, added: “This is a programme of urgency.

“Every day is a deadline for another person, piece of land, plant, animal, or creature of the sea. And so we must act, write, perform, sing and dance, because in this process art is not some additional notion of frivolity.”

The full programme is available on Eden Court’s website now, with more events to be confirmed in the coming weeks.


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