A WOOLLY mammoth, a dodo and a dinosaur enter a church.
What sounds like an opening line from a joke is actually a scene in the new, satirical climate change play I Feel Fine by playwright Zachary Sheridan.
“I’m not going to lie … it’s pretty strange,” admits Sheridan, adding it’s “experimental and immersive”.
The play portrays a “church for the eco-anxious” who feel the shame of the anthropocene epoch, the age in which humans started changing the climate, causing mass extinction and anthroturbation – our scarring of the earth’s surface with roads, tunnels and quarries.
Sheridan says the play asks how humanity can learn from religion’s great achievements based around feelings of community.
“God gives dominion of earth to mankind [and places] humans as the centre of the universe,” says Sheridan.
“[We were interested in] tunnels, roads, all the different ways humans have impacted on a planet that’s been around for four billion years.”
In the early stages of creation, the production team conducted a survey on how people felt about climate change. Hearing of “climate change shame”, they decided the play should encapsulate both despair and hope.
“We’re caught in this binary between despair and hope. Despair is quite numbing and it stops you in your tracks, paralyses you… so you need hope to get you through.”
I Feel Fine is at Blue Room Theatre, 7pm, October 1, 2 and 9.
by ALEX MURFETT