This play on climate change looks at how the process can be slowed down

Directed by Aruna Ganesh Ram, Under Pressure focuses on consumerism, plastic consumption and the disconnect from the environment

Ayesha Tabassum Published :  13th March 2020 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  13th March 2020 12:00 AM

Cast of the play

Climate change is a reality. Images that capture altering landscapes and unpredictable weather conditions from across the world are ubiquitous on the Internet. The new play, Under Pressure, explores this subject through the medium of contemporary theatre.

Directed by Aruna Ganesh Ram, artistic director of Visual Respiration, a perfor mance company, Under Pressure, focuses on consumerism, plastic consumption and the disconnect from the environment. Talking about why she chose this subject, the director reveals, “I have committed the next five years of my artistic practice to create work on the environment. The idea was triggered when I was listening to a podcast by Amitav Ghosh. He said, ‘if climate change is real, we need the artists, journalists, poets and writers to actively put the truth out about climate change.’ I asked myself a question, ‘have I seen a play on climate change,’ and the answer was ‘no’.”

Under Pressure is a devised play that uses physical theatre and poetry. The play opens on a nostalgic note and the narrative moves onto showcase the concept of consumerism. “Nostalgia is a big part of the play and we look at a time in the past when we used to be outdoors, climbing trees and plucking mangoes. Consumerism is visually represented on stage with 24 different gestures like making coffee and sending emails,” explains Aruna.

The entire set is made with upcycled material. A carpet made of nearly 700 single-use plastic bags that were collected, washed and stitched by the designers, is one of the main props. “The carpet is a collage of Maggi, Aashirvaad Atta and Kurkure packets,” offers Aruna. The play however, isn’t only about the calamities. “The narrative moves onto see if there is hope and explores what we can do in our own capacities to slow down the process,” signs off the director.

Rs 200. March 18-19, 7.30 pm. At Ranga Shankara, JP Nagar