Ahead of his new show You’re Safe Til 2024, on at the Sydney Opera House Unwrapped series, David Finnigan speaks about climate change, those strange folk who still don’t believe in it, and what we should all be doing to help the planet.

Joy – I am still amazed that there are still people out there who don’t believe in climate change, what is your reaction to these deniers?

David -  We are getting right into the guts of this straights away! Look in a lot of ways, bless them, at least they are up front with their denial. Myself, and a lot of people in my world, we say we believe in climate change, we say we accept the science, but we go on living our lives as if the world will continue as it is for decades to come. We’re what you might call ‘stealth deniers’ – and we’re much more of a problem than the remaining crusted-on old white dudes who froth at the mouth about the climate conspiracy on talk-back radio.


Joy -   Do you think the dramas that blend theatre, humour and science can help to change the mindset of those who don’t believe?

David – No, absolutely not. But then, I don’t go out to the theatre to have my mind changed, I go out to have a badass night, to learn something, to see a good spectacle with a great story, music and dancing. That’s what this show is, I can promise it won’t change your mind about anything – but it is fascinating.   


JoyI loved Kill Climate Deniers – will I love You’re Safe Til 2024?

David – Thank-you, that’s lovely! This show is better than KCD, so, yes: it’s richer and sharper and funnier.

It’s also soundtracked by the scientists that I interviewed – each scientist that I spoke with I asked to pick a song that gets them excited and fired up. Because scientists have very particular tastes, the soundtrack is much cooler than Kill Climate Deniers: basically it’s straight up Alanis Morisette, Ace of Base, and the Harry Potter soundtrack.


Joy – What contributions do you make, personally, to help reduce your carbon footprint that you can share and promote?

David – Hmmm, this is not a popular answer but: STOP trying to reduce your carbon footprint, start organising, protesting and making life difficult for the politicians and corporations selling out our planet to protect their profits.

Of course we have to do both, but the pendulum has swung far too much towards personal responsibility and conscious consumerism and all of that is meaningless unless we force change at the political level fast.


Joy -   What is next for you?

DavidYou’re Safe Til 2024 is a six year project – there is a new iteration of the show each year from now until 2024. This is the first iteration and it will continue to grow and evolve each year until it becomes a full-blown 8-hour show in 2024 – a massive spectacle with all the frills.

What that looks like, we don’t know yet. If anyone has any thoughts or feelings, get at me.

A big thanks to David Finnigan for taking the time out to chat, his show is on this Saturday at the Sydney Opera House, with two sessions , for more see: https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/general/arts-sector-development/unwrapped.html

This Month in Sydney

8 - 26 January

Sydney Festival

Sydney – various

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Every January, Sydney Festival starts the new year with a bang, transforming the city with a bold cultural celebration based on critical ideas and cutting-edge art and performance.

More than any other cultural event, Sydney Festival defines Sydney’s personality. For over four decades we have presented international artists who guarantee headlines, and whose presence in Sydney adds to the Festival’s buzz and prestige, including names like Björk, Brian Wilson, Grace Jones, Manu Chao, Elvis Costello, AR Rahman, Cate Blanchett, Ralph Fiennes, Robert Lepage, The Flaming Lips, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Peter Sellars, Sir Ian McKellen and David Byrne & St. Vincent. Some of the world’s great companies – Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance, Cheek by Jowl, Gate Theatre and The Wooster Group to name only a few – also share the Festival with the most exciting artists and companies in Australia.

Sydney Festival’s audacious contemporary programming positions it at the forefront of arts practice in Australia and up there as one of the most wonderful festivals in the world. (from Sydney Festival website)