39 Degrees: A play about the Australian Bushfires

We talked to Kate Goodfellow about their new show 39 Degrees, a dark comedy about "friendship, fear and a fucker of a week". The show is at VAULT Festival from 10th to 15th March 2020.

About the show: What is your show about?

This show is about two 39 Degrees days, 25 July 2019 London (oh we all remember that sweaty day from hell) and 31 December 2019 Australia. During 2019, writer Kate Goodfellow had some pretty rubbish luck. The rule of bad luck comes in threes was thrown straight out the window. Then on NYE, the Australian Bushfires gobbled up her home... on a 39 degree day.

Directed by: Alistair Wilkinson

Assistant Director: Lauren Budd

Lighting Design: Joseph Ed Thomas S

ound Design :Kate Goodfellow

Actors: Ruth Newbery-Payton and Kate Goodfellow

We're performing it at VAULT Festival, 10-15th March 2019, and then beyond... tbc

Where did the idea come from? 

This show wasn't always about the Australian Bushfires. Kate went home to enjoy time with their family and everything got very real... very quickly. When they returned to London, it was clear the show needed to be re-shaped to tell this vital storey. Thanks to Arts Council England, we were able to R&D all of these ideas and verbatim stories, to shape it into what is now a very powerful show.

How did you realise that the show would end up being concerned with sustainability and carry this message about our environmental impact on the planet?

This show is about the environment, with a particular focus on culpability and responsibility. It's an exploration of personal anxiety and eco-anxiety. We are shedding light on a situation that people know of, by they find hard to, but must, understand fully. The idea that it's so far away from you, doesn't mean it's not your concern. We share the same air, sky and earth and it's time to start seeing our planet without borders. You can close our eyes and hope that everything will stop, but the world will just swirl under your feet.

How have you made your show more environmentally sustainable?

Our costumes, set and props have all been sourced from recycled material, charity stores or freecycle. We have taken the step not to print flyers or posters, which is proper scary as it means your sales take a blow. However, it's time we start embracing a more digital and sustainable approach to our marketing. A percentage of proceeds from our production will be donated to ‘Wires’ Australia to support and rehabilitate the wildlife hurt in this devastating climate change catastrophe.

What have the highlights been of developing the show in a sustainable way? What have you learnt?

The satisfaction of the hustle and really taking the time to be inventive. It's a great feeling when you come home with all your props from a 'All Dogs Matter' in Muswell Hill and you've spent only a tenner. I've learnt that it's possible to market a show without printing, even though you must work a lot harder because our industry just isn't ready for it yet. The tradition of 'take a flyer...stare at it...fold it... put it in your bag and toss it when you get home' NEEDS TO END.

Who should carry the responsibility for making theatre more sustainable?

This is not one person's burden to bare.. this approach has never worked for us before and I doubt it will ever. Team work makes the dream work... right?

What can emerging artists do to be more eco-friendly?

Create gorgeous video content, trailers and imagery. Reach out to your networks on the many social platforms available to us and maybe... might be a crazy suggestion... but... TALK TO PEOPLE about your show, really challenge yourself to think about what is necessary when it comes to printing and single-use promotion.

Find out more about 39 Degrees:





20 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All