2071 (play)

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Text is printed on top of a photograph of glacial ice. The title "2071" is printed boldly. Underneath is a printed quotation "2071 is the year my oldest grandchild will be the age I am now." The tagline is printer near the top. Additional text describes the production details: dates, address, ticket price, credits, etc.. The poster notes that "2071" was a joint production of the Royal Court Theatre and the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, Germany. Also of interest is that MacMillan is the first author listed.
Poster for the original 2014 production with the tagline "Climate change takes centre stage in this urgent new piece of theatre"
Written by Duncan MacMillan
Chris Rapley
Date premiered 6 November 2014 (2014-11-06)
Place premiered Royal Court Theatre, London
Subject Climate change
Genre monologue

The play 2071 is a "dramatised lecture" written by Chris Rapley, a climate scientist, and playwright Duncan MacMillan.[1] It was first performed in 2014 at the Royal Court Theatre in London.


The play is in Rapley's voice and was first performed by him in 2014 at the Royal Court Theatre, London. The piece is partially a memoir of Rapley's life and career and partially an explanation of climate change and of the controversies surrounding it. The title, 2071, is the year in which Rapley's oldest grandchild will be 67 years old, which was Rapley's age when he first performed it in 2014.


The original production was directed by Katie Mitchell; designer Chloe Lamford’s incorporated "swirling video images behind him that illustrate Rapley’s arguments and have a strange beauty of their own".[2] The videos were done by Luke Halls, and Paul Clark composed music for the production.[3] The production was done jointly with the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, Germany. In December, 2014, it was presented there in English with German subtitles added.[4]


Reviewing the play, Michael Billington, theatre critic for The Guardian since 1971, wrote "if we look to theatre to increase our awareness of the human condition, the evening succeeds on all counts".[2] Some reviewers were less enthusiastic, with Aleks Sierz writing, "Why is the Royal Court hosting such devised work, and not commissioning playwrights to create new metaphor-rich plays about this subject?"[5]


In 2015, the script of the play was published in England with the title 2071: The World We’ll Leave Our Grandchildren, and a translation into German, 2° Grad, was published in Germany.[6][7]


  1. ^ Merritt, Stephanie (5 November 2014). "Climate change play 2071 aims to make data dramatic". The Guardian.
  2. ^ a b Billington, Michael (7 November 2014). "2071 five-star review – urgent call for the greatest collective action in history". The Guardian.
  3. ^ "2071 - Creatives". Royal Court Theatre. Retrieved 2015-11-14.
  4. ^ "2071" (in German). Deutsches Schauspielhaus. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 2015-11-14. German subtitling by Corinna Brocher.
  5. ^ Donn, Rebecca (10 November 2014). "Royal Court's 2071 splits critics". WhatsOnStage.
  6. ^ Rapley, Chris; MacMillan, Duncan (18 June 2015). 2071: The World We’ll Leave Our Grandchildren. London: John Murray. ISBN 9781473622159. OCLC 912663462.
  7. ^ Rapley, Chris; MacMillan, Duncan (2015). 2° Grad (in German). Elisabeth Liebl (translation). München: Droemer. ISBN 9783426276839. OCLC 928076898.

Further reading[edit]