The theatre will deliver this ambition through strategic areas of work with an overall objective to be carbon neutral within ten years.
This journey has already begun with The Rep having reduced energy consumption by 50% since 2022; swapped to 95% water-based products in its paint shop; redistributed the set for its recent production of Of Mice and Men; replaced over 700 lamps and 50 fittings with LED filaments; ensuring conference materials are recycled; and where possible using pre-loved and recycled clothing for all productions. The theatre has also signed up to the Oil Free Sponsorship pledge.
During the pandemic, the Theatre Industry responded to the Climate Crisis by creating a set of guidelines to support theatre making in a more sustainable way called the Theatre Green Book. The Rep started its Green Book journey with last year’s Would You Bet Against Us? in collaboration with Told By An Idiot theatre company, where they successfully achieved a fully sustainable production. The theatre’s next Green Book production will be Little Red Riding Hood in The Door at Christmas and The Rep looks forward to producing more Green Book productions in the future.
The Rep, one of the UK’s leading producing theatres and the first theatre in the city to pledge, is part of a growing group of people in arts and culture creating a regenerative future that protects the planet and sustains everyone, everywhere.
The Rep’s Executive Producer Chloe Naldrett said: “It is time for artists and for cultural institutions to step up: it is our job to make a better, fairer, cleaner future irresistible. Our Declaration today is not our first step on this journey, but it is one that we are now ready to share with our audiences.”
As part of the theatre’s Climate Action Week and its Declaration, The Rep hosts an exciting week of exploration and discussion with artists, organisations, and audiences featuring: Letters To The Earth Workshop (5 June) where audiences are invited to join Rep Staff, Trustees, and members of Young Rep in this participatory workshop; Theatre Complicité’s Can I Live? (7-10 June) a film conceived, written and performed by Fehinti Balogun. This energising and uplifting film is an exploration of the place where the climate emergency and social justice meet, and a call-to-action to anyone who is curious about what we can do to help. Screenings of Can I Live? are preceded by Birmingham artist Salma Zulfiqar’s film Migration Blanket, which was commissioned by Festival 2022, and are followed by a post-show discussion on a different environmental theme every evening. The week also features Our Future Needs You (9 June – supported by Culture Declares Emergency) a lively and empowering event about Climate Awareness for artists and arts organisations in the West Midlands.
Further information on all events can be found at birmingham-rep.co.uk/
Victoria Marsom, member of The Rep’s Board of Trustees added “Declaring a Climate Emergency is a major strategic focus and priority for The Rep and as a Board it is a decision that we are fully committed to. Being a leading producing theatre, we have a responsibility to set an example for our industry and drive change when it is needed. We tell powerful stories and convey important messages every day through our brilliant creative works, and our Climate Action Week of events and workshops is an extension of this. The Rep is determined to play our part in opening up the conversation and understanding what we can all do to make a difference for future generations and I’m very proud of the team making it happen.”
Future work will include sustainable performances of multiple productions, including The Trials as part of next month’s Order & Chaos Festival, an extensive Energy Audit and a reduction in the need for harsh chemicals and dry cleaning.
The Rep’s Environmental Working Group, comprised of staff across the organisation, will be environmental champions and will meet regularly to review and update the theatre’s Environmental policy and plans.
Further information on all events at The Rep during Climate Action Week can be found at birmingham-rep.co.uk
Full details of The Rep’s current sustainable achievements can be found here