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Digital Programme: A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction

Actor Lydia West stares down the camera while standing against a pink background. The world is on fire in her eye.

Welcome to the Barbican Theatre for this exciting experiment that reimagines the possibilities of theatre in an ever-changing world. Our relationship with pioneering Director Katie Mitchell continues, following her radical creations Fraulein Julie (2013), The Forbidden Zone (2016) and La Maladie de la Mort (2018). She boldly continues to evolve her practice and embodies a more sustainable way to live, all the while continuing to work and collaborate with artists and venues all over the world. Her projects are increasingly innovative and we share her concerns about our planet. We are thrilled to have joined forces with the touring company Headlong, renowned for their risk-taking and high-impact shows, to explore how we can contribute to a more sustainable future. Led by Katie, the Production, Technical and Creative teams are working together to investigate a new model for making and touring theatre. Huge thanks to the bicycle power specialists at Electric Pedals and the cyclists from our Barbican community who will be powering everything you see onstage as we move off-grid during the performance. We are trying out something new and untested – while we don’t have all the answers, we are energised to learn and are continually thinking about how we can apply the findings to future productions.

We are delighted that actor Lydia West has chosen to make her stage debut with this project. She represents all of us trying to find a way through, to approach the gravity of this challenge with humour and passionate spirit. We are also honoured to welcome the Citizens of the World Choir to perform on our stage. Their unique voices come together in a beautiful and powerful example of unity.

We hope you enjoy the show. Thank you for joining us.

Toni Racklin
Barbican Head of Theatre & Dance


Key information

Age guidance: 14+ (The show contains themes of a seriously ill parent)

Co-produced by Headlong and the Barbican 

Key artwork: Lydia West © Michael Wharley

Rehearsal photography: Beth Clarence


Related events

Post-show talk with director Katie Mitchell, facilitated by Leah Borromeo
Fri 28 Apr, Theatre (free to same-day ticket holders)

Pre-show members' talk
Q&A with director Katie Mitchell for Barbican Members
Sat 29 Apr, 6pm, Fountain Room

Programme notes

Thank you for joining us for the UK premiere of Miranda Rose Hall’s A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction. Tonight you are part of an exciting experiment in sustainability. What might theatre-making in the future look like?

This play aims to take you on a life-changing journey to confront the urgent ecological disaster that is unfolding around us. Part ritual, part battle cry, it is a moving exploration of what it means to be human in an era of man-made extinction.

This life-affirming script has been central to an international experiment in sustainable performance and touring. In its original form, conceived by Katie Mitchell in collaboration with Jérôme Bel and Vidy Theatre, an international tour happened where no materials or people moved between touring venues. Instead, a set of written guidelines were passed to local teams in each touring city.

In its UK premiere directed and conceived by Katie Mitchell for Headlong and the Barbican Centre, the production moves off-grid during the performance to integrate a bike-powered electricity system. With the help of a live wattage counter, you will watch a group of cyclists create electricity in real time to power this innovative show.

Following on from its London performances, Headlong and the Barbican explore a unique UK touring iteration of the original European model where one centralised blueprint for how to create the show is shared across six cities and brought to life by entirely new local teams; an eco-relay of sorts, eliminating travel as much as possible.

Today you will see Lydia West’s take on this character, before Kimisha Lewis takes over at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. The show will then play at the Shakespeare North Playhouse, the New Vic Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent, The Drum in Theatre Royal Plymouth, before finishing at the York Theatre Royal in September.

In engaging in this unique process of theatre making, initiated by Katie Mitchell in Europe, Headlong, the Barbican Centre, our partner venues and freelancers have discovered alternatives, made mistakes, and found hope. It has been a feat of national imagination and European collaboration.

We hope you leave the theatre feeling fired up to collaborate and innovate in the face of the climate emergency wherever you have influence.

Cast and creative team

Naomi Lydia West

Creative team
Writer Miranda Rose Hall
Director Katie Mitchell
Assistant Director Francesca Hsieh
Set and Costume Designer Moi Tran 
Lighting Designer Bethany Gupwell
Composer and Sound Designer Paul Clark 
Associate Sound Designer Munotida Chinyanga
Movement Director Iskandar إسكندر R. Sharazuddin
Bicycle Power Specialists Colin Tonks and Elliot Townsend for Electric Pedals
Casting Director Amy Ball
Production Manager Jamie Maisey
Stage Managers Louise Quartermain and Greg Shimmin
Production Electrician and Operator Jack Hathaway
Costume Supervisor Claire Nicolas
Sign Language Interpreter Rachel Jones

For Citizens of the World Choir
Musical Director Becky Dell 
Creative Director and Associate Music Director Meg Ella Brookes 

Thanks to: SLX, Electric Foundry and Kew Gardens 


Abiola Ogunsakin, Alan Scott, Alex Gurguliany, Ali Graves, Allison George, Anja Lazarieva, Ash Mukherjee, Aref Hussaini, Becky Dell, Carine Zeka, Cecilia Passaniti Mezzano, Claire Shovelton, Debby Mill, EE, Eleanor Storey, Elisabeth Kabemba, Ena Softic, Esther Trewinnard, Francesco Pio Ricci, Hakar Karim, Hannah Freemont-Brown, Helen Mason, Ijeoma Nnadi, Imelda Mudenda, James Cook, Josh Smith (Leese), Llinos Emanuel, Malika Nouichi, Meg Brookes, Naomi ’Nahum’ Kilovelo, Nora Jenewein, Noriko Takahashi, Rachel Hattingh, Sandra Villani, Sarah Green, Susanah Akindele, Thilini Nanayakkara, Vita Kay

Performance cyclists
Ariane Oiticica, Anna Dominian, Ben Jefferies, Ellinna Horton, Freddie Crossley, Harrison Collett, Grace Cosovic, Iona Kirk, Isadora Dooley Hunter, Iskandar Sharazuddin, Jessica Barker Wren, Jeremy Hoogmartens, Joel Danby Irons, James Tringham, Kyle Bradshaw, Mali Siloko, Max Popli, Neil Sowerby, Oliver Slape, Rebecca Moore, Rebecca Oliver, Rikky Onefeli, Sarah Calver, Tom Titherington, Zoë Robinson 

Rehearsal cyclists
Achyutha Mamidipudi, Alex Neve, Beth Clarence, Carla-Marie Metcalfe, Constanza Ruff, Dan McCormick, Dorothy Wright-Spinks, Elisabeth Gunawan, Ezra Barnard, Ezra Barnard, Freddie Crossley, Frewyn Thursfield, Guy Jones, Hannah Moss, Harrison Collett, Harry Lister Smith, Hatice Kucuk, Holly Race Roughan, Jade Taylor, Jamie Hannon, Janisè Sadik, Jess Senanayake, Lauren Monaghan Pisano, Max Pappenheim, Michael Coppelov, Mona Camille, Monica Tanouye, Nathan Coenen, Peter Hope Parry, Qian Yan, Rosalind Lailey, Rose Hockaday, Steven Nguyen, Tom Machell

Inside the rehearsal room for A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction: 10 people power bikes on an electric green set.

Teaching the world to sing

‘We feel that the ethos of this show is so much about being forward-looking as a cultural sector. This play and this process has challenged us as theatre artists to interrogate our role in cultural provision, asking what responsibility we have as part of a global community to think about our impact on the planet.

It has been a joy to partner with the Citizens of the World Choir on this project. A choir made up of people from 30 countries around the world, connecting displaced individuals, refugees, and vulnerable persons through music and song. From the beginning this collaboration has been characterised by friendship and compassion. We have deeply valued our time visiting the choir rehearsals, singing together, eating together, and creating together. We can’t wait to share this work with audiences.’

Holly Race Roughan and Iskandar إسكندر R. Sharazuddin (Headlong)

Ahead of their performances in A Play for Living in a Time of Extinction, Aref, Becky Dell and Meg Ella Brookes from the Citizens of the World Choir talked about the group’s genesis, evolution, and the particular importance of this collaboration with Headlong and Katie Mitchell

Take us back to the beginning…

Becky Dell, Musical Director (BD): In 2016 Meg and I and some other musicians went to the Calais Jungle. We wanted to use music to help impact the world for good, and went there to teach music to children in a school. We travelled over five times, each occasion loading up a couple of vans with food, tents and clothes. But we specifically wanted to do something to help people feel good and human: it’s not just about surviving, it’s about thriving as well. It was a life-changing experience, and we met some amazing people, including Tess [Berry-Hart] and Rachel [Hattingh], who we started the choir with. And we are still running it together.

Tess invited us to Parliament where we met an amazing person called Lord Roger Roberts, who was doing a lot of work in the human rights sector and on refugee rights. He was second signatory to the Dubs Amendment, named after Lord Dubs who himself was a Kindertransport child rescued from Nazi Germany. Lord Dubs had put forward an amendment to the Human Rights Act, that we (the UK) would take 3,000 vulnerable refugee children from Syria. This of course was at a time of conflict in Syria. The government, to its shame, said no, we’re not going to do that. Lord Roberts had spent a sleepless night worrying about these children and, being a Welshman, he thought music might be the answer. He contacted us and said, ‘how about we do something for people already over here, and set up a choir?’ And so the Citizens of the World Choir was born.

Socrates said, ‘I’m not an Athenian, I’m not a Greek, but I am a citizen of the world’. All this happened around the time that then Prime Minister Theresa May said ‘if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere.’ We do not agree with that.

We had our first rehearsal in March 2017 and launched in Parliament on 20 June that year, on International Refugee Day. The choir started off as a five-month experiment but we somehow forgot to stop. It turned out to be the best thing all of us have ever done in our lives. And here we are, six years later, after an amazing set of experiences, from performing at Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Concert and at Westminster Central Hall for a UN celebration of the life of Kofi Annan, and appearances on BBC Radio, Sunday Morning Live, BBC World Service, Ronnie Scott’s to projects with the Royal Opera House and now with Headlong.

Meg Ella Brookes, Creative Director and Assistant Music Director (MEB): To recruit singers, we did a lot of shout-outs, we sent out flyers translated into as many languages as possible, we went to local refugee organisations, and reached out to any connections we had in the semi-local area, and to the arts sector. There were 30+ people at the first rehearsal. From the beginning we committed to having a 50/50 split of members: people who’ve had the refugee experience, are asylum seekers or identify that way, and their allies. Our allied members are from the local area and speak English as their first language.

BD: We set up the choir with three things in mind: firstly, to help with healing through the power of music; secondly to aid community integration - and at our very first meeting we decided the choir would be proudly non-auditioned, and proudly mixed community; and thirdly to change the narrative around refugees and migrants, to highlight the important contribution they make to our society.

We wanted to challenge the language being used at that time by people like Nigel Farage and David Cameron about refugees and migrants - our fellow human beings. People don’t want handouts: they are escaping war and persecution and climate change through no fault of their own. We would want to be treated with equal dignity and humanity if it happened to us. If you think about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, when we were in the Calais camp it was very much about survival, and we say our choir is the next step along the refugee journey. You’ve got here, you’re settled down, you’re looking for a community. That’s when we step in and offer help.


Q: How did the very first rehearsal in 2017 go?

BD: We have a music team of four who are all professional musicians; West End, TV and orchestra performers, who trained to a very high standard at music college. Artistic excellence is a huge part of what we do. And we have an admin team of four people who are human rights activists. For me, it’s this Venn diagram of politics, human rights and music. We are being politically active by existing.

I remember saying at the first rehearsal that I don’t want audiences to look at us with pity and think, oh, it’s the ‘Refugee Choir’. I want to change the narrative, I want people to be impressed because we’re offering musical excellence. There are lots of refugee choirs. Ours has a very strong commitment to community integration by having a 50/50 system. We have 60 people in our choir representing 30 different nationalities, so none of us look like each other, but we are a family.

From the first rehearsal, we realised we had something special. We use the words 'synchronicity’ and ‘serendipity’ to refer to the Citizens of the World choir. It just falls into place.


Q: What does it mean to be a choir member?

Aref, Creative Assistant: In 2020, I was here in London and looking for a community. I saw one of the choir’s flyers when I was in a hostel in South London. I was looking for something offering integration like this so I texted Rachel, the choir’s member manager, and she responded that because of Covid-19, the sessions were taking place online. So my first session was online. Everyone was talking and I didn’t know what was going on - but it was really good!

BD: In fact, Aref was so amazing that about a year ago we began to employ him as a creative assistant. He now works as part of our team, and has just earned a scholarship to Ravensbourne for his photography and design work.

Aref: I come from a very strict family background - we don’t sing. But singing makes me happy; that’s the most important thing actually. I enjoy it. I initially joined for the community I wanted to have, but it has inspired my photography and other creative art too.


Q: What commitment is expected of choir members, when their living circumstances might be precarious?

BD: One of the biggest problems with living in London is the expense. We spend about £400 a week covering travel expenses and do a lot of grant writing and fundraising to enable that. We have to facilitate this opportunity for those who want to come. We serve snacks and offer data packages, try to get winter warmer grants to help people with clothing, food and energy bills, and sometimes we connect our members with legal advice. In Covid times we got secondhand devices to connect everyone, translated our online sessions into multiple languages and ran training courses to help people to be digitally connected. Sometimes people move on through no choice of their own, when the Home Office moves them to different parts of the country. We often write letters asking for them not to be moved from their community and that we are looking after them. It’s heartbreaking when that’s ignored.

Aref: Most of the refugee choir members travel over an hour and a half to come to choir.

MEB: Our singers are very committed. The people that come understand that a community only functions if you invest. And everybody invests. All we ask is that they show up, which can sometimes be very difficult to do.


Q: How did the choir become involved in this production, A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction?

BD: Initially we met with Headlong’s community producer, and I felt they were a great match with us. They used all the right language, and were thoughtful and inclusive. Lots of people want to work like this but don’t know the extent of what’s required behind the scenes. To us, Headlong are industry leaders.

MEB: The openness and inclusivity of the conversation with Headlong was and has been brilliant. There was no agenda beyond creating a great piece of theatre. This was a great example of entering into a conversation with people who may not have the same experience as you, but forging ahead to the same goal.


Q: What was the creative process for the choir?

BD: The brief was that we’d be singing a song towards the end of the play. We’d only have about 500w of electricity to work with, which meant we wouldn't be able to sing with a piano as we usually do. So we are singing to a very cool backing track that is made up of sampled sounds of bikes. The play will be touring to other locations and involving local choirs, but as we’re the first we’ve worked with the composer, Paul Clark, for two months to develop the piece of music. We have all really enjoyed that process.

It will be the first time the choir has performed without me conducting as I will be singing. So it’s been really important in rehearsals to make sure the singers become really secure with the score.


Q: How does the story of the play resonate with your own mission?

BD: Hugely. There are a vast amount of displaced people in the world because of climate change. We talk a lot about war and persecution, and less about climate change. And some people are displaced within their own home country because of climate change. The UN say we will see that number soar in the coming decades.

We are also pro-environment in the COTW office. We aim for carbon neutrality, and we plant 40 trees every month; and we do much more, like green audits and using electric vehicles.

MEB: Our primary cause is not climate change but it is hugely significant to our choir members. And it’s wonderful to see artistic organisations being openly passionate about it, and how they’re moving their grain of sand by being innovative and committed to those ethics. This production is a phenomenal example of walking the talk, and it will be interesting to see how the concept develops.


Q: What’s next?

MEB: We have lots of big ideas, that’s what we do. The sky is the limit, but we are talking about ways to extend what we’ve learned and share source material that will help communities to set up their own branch of COTW choirs so that we can reach more people.

BD: We are hugely ambitious and I’d like us to be known internationally. The world feels fractured at points, but I don’t think it is. Bad news exists when people profit off selling it. But we’re showing how peace, community, love and lifting each other up can really help.

Bikes on the set of A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction


Lydia West

Lydia West is a BAFTA-nominated British actress who was named as a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit in 2021 and is known for her work on projects such as It’s a Sin. Lydia West has recently been announced to appear alongside Nicola Coughlan in Big Mood, a Channel 4 comedy which follows the friendship of Maggie (Coughlan) and Eddie (West). In 2023, she will appear in the feature film Love Again in a cast including Sam Heughan, Russell Tovey, Celia Imrie, Priyanka Chopra and Celine Dion, which is set to release on 12 May; and she will appear in the eight-part TV series, Gray.

Miranda Rose Hall
Miranda Rose Hall is an American playwright and screenwriter who lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her plays include A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction (finalist for the 2021 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize); Plot Points in Our Sexual Development (finalist for the 2019 Lambda Literary Award in Drama); The Kind Ones and Menstruation: A Period Piece. She is writing commissioned works for Yale Repertory Theater, Playwrights Horizons Soundstage, and LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater as a Berwin Lee New York London Commissioned Playwright. In 2020, she was honoured with a Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. She has written for television on Showtime and ABC, and is a founding member of LubDub Theatre Company.

Katie Mitchell
Katie Mitchell is an award-winning theatre and opera director with a career spanning 30 years and over 100 productions, in the UK and internationally. Her work has been staged at the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre and the Royal Court and she has been an Associate Director at all three. She has been a resident director at the Schaubühne (Berlin), the Deutsches Schauspielhaus (Hamburg) and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. She has won numerous awards for her directing and an OBE for services to theatre. She is well known for her work on climate change and her advocacy for women and young people.

Francesca Hsieh
Francesca Hsieh is an Asian-American theatre director based in London. She has her MA in Theatre Directing from Royal Holloway, University of London and a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from the University of Utah. Previous credits include Tosca (director observer to Georg Zlabinger, English National Opera), Shakespearean Support Group (director, Standby for Places podcast), Cocaine Triptych (director, Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival – winner of outstanding live production), and Mary Stuart (assistant director to Shelley Butler, Pioneer Theatre Company). She is on the Higher Education faculty at Shakespeare’s Globe and as an activist her work has been featured in Classical Singer Magazine, American Theatre Magazine, and The Salt Lake Tribune.

Moi Tran
Moi Tran is a multi-disciplinary artist, designer, and researcher with a background in Fine Art and Design for live performance. Recent designs include: The Tempest: Playing Shakespeare and Henry V (Headlong) at Shakespeare’s Globe; Baghdaddy and Peaky Blinders for Rambert; Rare Earth Mettle and White Pearl at the Royal Court; Chasing Hares for Theatre Uncut at the Young Vic; Corrina Corrina for Headlong/ Liverpool Playhouse; Raya and Deluge at Hampstead; Dear Elizabeth and The Letters Project at the Gate; In the Blood at the Donmar; Chiaroscuro at the Bush; Human Wall for the V&A; Beats’n’Shine for MUDAM; Summer Rolls at the Park Theatre; The Imperfect Pearl for the Corn Exchange, Newbury/St George’s, Bristol/King’s Place/onUK tour; and Falstaff for Opera Berbiguieres, France. Recent art includes: Reshaping the Collectible for TATE Modern UK; a solo exhibition Civic Sound Archive’ for PEER UK; Sign Chorus VN for the National Archives UK; The Circuit and Shy God A Chorus for SPILL Festival; Sonic Signalling in Reverse for AIO/GIBCA Gothenburg; SHY GOD Chapter Một for Chisenhale Dance UK; solo exhibition, I love a broad margin to my life for Yeo Workshops Singapore; The Bolero Effect in Hanoi/British Council; Civic Voice Archive for the National Archives/UEL UK; The Circuit for Prague Quadrennial; and Temporality in a Cut at the Display Gallery. Moi Tran is a founder of East Asian Ticket Club, an engagement platform for the East Asian community and currently is Artist in Residence with Headlong.

Bethany Gupwell 
Lighting Designer 
Work in theatre includes: A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction at the Barbican; La Voix Humaine at Opéra national du Rhin; Little Scratch (also New Diorama) and Wolf Cub at Hampstead Theatre; War and Culture and Keep Watching at New Diorama; Here, the Woods at Southwark Playhouse; Wickies: The Vanishing Men of Eilean Moor and When Darkness Falls at the Park Theatre and on UK tour); Brown Girls Do It Too (also on UK tour), Fitter and Wonder Winterland at Soho Theatre; Frantic Assembly’s Ignition at Brixton House; Talking About a Revolution on UK tour; A-Typical Rainbow at Turbine Theatre; The Pirate, the Princess and the Platypus at Polka Theatre; We Started to Sing at the Arcola; Rice and Little Baby Jesus at the Orange Tree Theatre; You Heard Me at ARC Stockton and on tour; Interruptions at Jackson’s Lane; Albatross at The Playground); Talking Heads at Watford Palace; Tipping the Velvet at Mountview; The Last Harvest for the National Youth Theatre; Trade on UK tour; Queen of the Mist at Charing Cross Theatre; Zorba at Eve Lyons Studio Theatre; Chess at the Electric Theatre; I’d Rather Go Blind for Omnibus; Dracula at Leicester Curve; and Sweet Like Chocolate Boy at Brockley Jack;

Paul Clark
Paul Clark is co-artistic director of performance company Clod Ensemble and has written original scores for all the company’s productions to date – ranging from totally acoustic works, to multi speaker installations including Silver Swan at Tate Modern; Under Glass at Sadler's Wells; and On the High Road at South Bank Centre. He has written dozens of scores for the stage in the UK and internationally including many productions with Katie Mitchell including Waves at the National Theatre and Wunschkonzert for the Köln Schauspielhaus, and with Gare St Lazare with whom he created Here All Night at the Lincoln Center and The Abbey, Dublin. He has written music for and with a hugely diverse range of musicians from Manchester Camerata, Opera North and Renee Fleming to Dangermouse and Mark E Smith (The Fall). Paul Clark is an advocate for the access of young people to music and leads Clod Ensemble’s  project for music creators, Ear Opener.

Munotida Chinyanga 
Sound Designer 
Munotida Chinyanga is an Anti-Disciplinary Practitioner and Experience Designer creating work primarily through direction and sound. She facilitates Europe-wide connections between countries, disciplines and artists, investigating how theatre/performance and sonic art can facilitate the bringing together of a community, working on ways to mediate dialogue that is cross-cultural, creating both sonic and performative experiences for audiences. She has worked for venues and organisations including; Omnibus Theatre, the Young Vic, the Gate, Royal Exchange Manchester, Clean Break and taught on Rose Bruford’s European Theatre Arts course. She was assistant director to Kwame Kwei-Armah (Artistic Director of the Young Vic) on Tree, which premiered at the Manchester International Festival. International work includes Creative Europe residences in Serbia, France and Malta. She has directed productions and delivered masterclasses at Teatro India, The National Theatre of Rome and Teatro di Akrai, The National Institute of Ancient Drama, Sicily and YIYUAN TANG Museum in China supported by UKNA. Munotida Chinyanga was selected as the honorary International Artist for Parma Capitale Italiana della Cultura 2021 supported by BJCEM and Creative Europe. She is also a visiting lecturer at Middlesex University.

Iskandar إسكندر R. Sharazuddin
Movement Director

Iskandar إسكندر R. Sharazuddin is a British-Bruneian theatre and movement artist as well as a dance-dramaturg. He is an Associate at Headlong Theatre and Joint Artistic Director of Ellandar Productions, a British East and Southeast Asian (BESEA) led theatre company focused on new writing and physical theatre. Selected work in theatre as Movement Director include: Worth at the Arcola Theatre/Storyhouse; Blackout Songs at Hampstead; harmony. 天人合一 at The Pleasance and Ensemble Festival 2022; The Climbers (as associate) at Theatre by the Lake; Così fan tutte and Satyagraha (also Puppetry Director) for ENO and Improbable; Gnomus for the BBC Proms; and How To Train Your Dragon (also as Dance Captain and Resident Director) for Dreamworks SKG/Global Creatures. As a Dance-Dramaturg he conceived and developed (un)written • (un)heard for the Fringe World Festival Western Australia (International Dance & Physical Theatre Award). His physical theatre play, Post-Mortem, which he also performed, was presented at Assembly Festival Edinburgh 2019 and toured internationally as part of The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights Fringe World Festival, Western Australia and Holden Street Theatres, Adelaide Fringe 2020.

Citizens of the World Choir
Citizens of the World Choir is a musical family that celebrates the artistry, heritage and humanity of people seeking sanctuary, and their allies. We advocate for understanding, dignity and kindness through the transformative impact of music and song.

Rachel Jones
Sign Language Interpreter

My name is Rachel Jones and I am a registered sign language interpreter, with experience across a wide range of different domains. I specialise in: theatre interpreting (Theatre performances, musicals, and theatre conference's settings, such as Church services, wedding, funeral, and musical concerts), as well as in Education (Colleges and Universities). My Previous theatre credits include: Sign performance (Brixton House Theatre, Pathways Writers Showcase, 
Christmas Production of Alice In Wonderland at Brixton house, Young Associates at Sadlers Wells, and Sundown Kiki at the Young Vic). I am a proud CoDA ( Child of Deaf Adults) and truly believe representation is important in our community. 


About Headlong

We’re Headlong. We make theatre with the power to move.

Big, exhilarating productions that use the unexpected to connect everyone we reach, right across the nation. Whether a work is old or new, there are always different questions we can ask. So our productions are an invitation: to come and see something in a new way. Join us.

Previous Headlong productions include Henry V, Jitney, Corrina, Corrina, Best of Enemies, People, Places & Things and Enron, and major digital theatre innovations Signal Fires and Unprecedented.

For Headlong

General Manager Joni Carter 
Marketing Manager Bella Cox 
Development Manager Lucy Howard Taylor 
Finance Director Keerthi Kollimada
Executive Director Lisa Maguire 
Assistant Producer Radha Mamidipudi 
Executive Assistant Carla-Marie Metcalfe 
Development Consultant Kirstin Peltonen
Literary Manager Frank Peschier 
Producer Zoë Anjuli Robinson 
Artistic Director Holly Race Roughan
Communities Associate Iskandar إسكندر R. Sharazuddin
Artist/Designer in Residence Moi Tran 

Headlong is grateful for the generous support of the following Trusts and Foundations: 
Backstage Trust 
The Buffini Chao Foundation

We would like to thank the following individuals for their generous support: 
Neil and Sarah Brener 
Annabel Duncan-Smith and Victoria Leggett 
Alyce Faye Eichelberger-Cleese
Nick Hern
Jack and Linda Keenan
Beth and Ian Mill KC 
Rob O’Rahilly

We are also grateful for the dedicated support of our Board members:
Justin Audibert, Paddy Dillon, Cas Donald, Sarah Ellis, Lucinda Harvey, Julia Head, Jacqueline Hurt, Prime Isaac, Nicky Jones, Lil Lambley, Donna Munday, Sir Trevor Phillips OBE, Toni Racklin, Lesley Wan

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About A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction

The original production of A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction directed by Katie Mitchell was created at the  Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne as part of the project Sustainable Theatre?, conceived by Katie Mitchell, Jérôme Bel and  Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, with the collaboration of the Competence Centre in Sustainability of the University of Lausanne, co-produced by STAGES - Sustainable Theatre Alliance for a Green Environmental Shift (NTGent - Théâtre de Liège - National Theatre of Croatia in Zagreb - MC93, Maison de la culture de Seine-Saint-Denis - Trafo House of Contemporary Arts - Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Teatro d'Europa - Lithuanian National Drama Theatre - Teatro Nacional D. Maria II - Maribor Slovene National Theatre - The Royal Dramatic Theatre, Dramaten, Stockholm - National Theater & Concert Hall, Taipei) and co-funded by the European Union. Sustainable Theatre? includes two shows and a workshop touring in the form of scripts recreated locally.

A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction
A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction was commissioned and developed by LubDub Theatre Company, Caitlin Nasema Cassidy, and Geoff Kanick, Co-Artistic Directors, Robert Duffley, Dramaturg. 

The production was developed, in part, with assistance from the Orchard Project (, Ari Edelson Artistic Director

Written By Miranda Rose Hall
Directed by Katie Mitchell
Co-produced by Headlong and the Barbican 

On tour

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, from 10 May 2023
Directed by Nyasha Gudo

Shakespeare North Playhouse, Prescot, from 16 May 2023
Directed by Nathan Powell

New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, from 19 June 2023
Directed by Ellie Taylor

Theatre Royal Plymouth, from 28 June 2023
Directed by Kay Michael

York Theatre Royal, from 27 September 2023
Directed by Mingyu Lin

Director Katie Mitchell gives guidance to a cyclist who is on the stage

For the Barbican

Barbican Centre Board
Tom Sleigh
Deputy Chair
Sir William Anthony Bowater Russell
Deputy Chair
Tobi Ruth Adebekun

Board Members
Munsur Ali, Randall Anderson, Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante, Stephen Bediako, Farmida Bi, Tijs Broeke, Zulum Elumogo, Gerard Grech, Ann Holmes, Wendy Hyde, Charles Edward Lord, Wendy Mead, Graham Packham, Mark Page, Alpa Raja, Jens Riegelsberger, Jane Roscoe, Despina Tsatsas, Irem Yerdelen

Clerk to the Board
Ben Dunleavy

Barbican Centre Trust
Farmida Bi CBE
Vice Chair

Robert Glick OBE

Farmida Bi CBE, Tom Bloxham MBE, Stephanie Camu, Tony Chambers, Cas Donald, Robert Glick OBE, Tracey-Joy Harrison, David Kapur, Ann Kenrick, Kendall Langford, Sir William Anthony Bowater Russell, Tom Sleigh, Claire Spencer AM, Sian Westerman

Chief Executive Officer
Claire Spencer
Artistic Director
Will Gompertz
Director of Operations and Buildings
Jonathon Poyner
Director of Development
Natasha Harris
Director of People, Inclusion and Culture
Ali Mirza
Head of Finance & Business Administration
Sarah Wall
Senior Executive Assistant to Claire Spencer and Will Gompertz
Jo Daly

Theatre Department
Head of Theatre and Dance
Toni Racklin
Senior Production Manager
Simon Bourne
Liz Eddy, Jill Shelley, Fiona Stewart
Assistant Producers
Anna Dominian, Saxon Mudge, Mali Siloko
Production Managers
Jamie Maisey, Lee Tasker
Technical Managers
Steve Daly, Jane Dickerson, Nik Kennedy, Martin Morgan, Stevie Porter
Stage Managers
Lucinda Hamlin, Charlotte Oliver
Technical Supervisors
James Breedon, John Gilroy, Jamie Massey, Adam Parrott, Lawrence Sills, Chris Wilby

PA to Head of Theatre
David Green
Production Administrator
Caroline Hall
Production Assistant
Andrew Pellett
Eleanor Foster, Kendell Foster, Burcham Johnson, Bartek Kuta, Christian Lyons, Josh Massey, Matt Nelson
Stage Door
Julian Fox, aLbi Gravener

Creative Collaboration and Learning
Head of Creative Collaboration
Karena Johnson
Senior Producer
Lauren Monaghan-Pisano
Lauren Brown
Assistant Producer
Rikky Onefeli

Marketing Department
Acting Head of Marketing
Ben Jefferies
Marketing Manager
Kyle Bradshaw
Marketing Assistant
Rebecca Moore

Communications Department
Head of Communications
James Tringham
Senior Communications Manager
Ariane Oiticica
Communications Manager
Communications Assistant
Sumayyah Sheikh

Audience Experience
Deputy Head of Audience Experience & Operations
Sheree Miller
Ticket Sales Managers
Lucy Allen, Oliver Robinson, Ben Skinner, Jane Thomas
Operations Managers
Seán Carter, Richard Long, Rob Norris, Elizabeth Davies-Sadd, Samantha Teatheredge
Operations Manager (Health & Safety)
Mo Reideman
Audience Event & Planning Manager
Freda Pouflis
Venue Managers
Scott Davies, Tilly Devine, Gary Hunt, Nicola Lake, Tabitha Goble Assistant
Venue Managers
Suman Cheema, Giovana Lorensatto, Maria Pateli
Crew Management
Dave Magwood, Rob Magwood, James Towell
Access and Licensing Manager
Rebecca Oliver
Security Operations Manager
James Cocklin

With thanks

The Barbican sparks creative possibilities and transformation for artists, audiences and communities – to inspire, connect, and provoke debate.

As a not-for-profit, we need to raise two thirds of our income through fundraising, ticket sales, and commercial activities. With the help of our generous supporters, we are able to share the work of some of the most inspiring and visionary artists and creatives, enabling the widest possible audience to experience the joy of the arts.

There are many ways you can support the Barbican, including by making a donation, joining our programme as a sponsor, or becoming a Member. To find out more and join our community, please visit or contact [email protected]

With thanks...

The City of London Corporation, founder and principal funder

Major Supporters
Arts Council England
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch)
SHM Foundation
The Terra Foundation for American Art

Leading Supporters
Lonti Ebers
Trevor Fenwick and Jane Hindley
Marcus Margulies

Programme Supporters
Marie-Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre (Spirit Now London)
Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery
Sayeh Ghanbari
Elizabeth and J Jeffry Louis
Pat and Pierre Maugüé
The Clare McKeon Charitable Trust
Hugh Monk
Romilly Walton Masters Award
The Rudge Shipley Charitable Trust

Director’s Circle
Anonymous (1)
Farmida Bi
Tom and Jo Bloxham MBE
Philippe and Stephanie Camu
Cas Donald
Alex and Elena Gerko
Trevor Fenwick and Jane Hindley
Ruth and Stuart Lipton
Tracey, Eloise and Max Mayerson
John Murray
Natrium Capital Limited
Sian and Matthew Westerman

Corporate Supporters
Bank of America
Bolt Burdon Kemp
Google Arts & Culture
Linklaters LLP
Norton Rose Fulbright
Osborne Clarke
Pinsent Masons
Slaughter and May

Trusts & Grantmakers
Art Fund
Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne
The Austin and Hope Pilkington Charitable Trust
Bagri Foundation
CHK Foundation
Cockayne – Grants for the Arts
John S Cohen Foundation
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Goethe-Institut London
Helen Frankenthaler Foundation
Italian Cultural Institute in London
Korean Cultural Centre UK
Kusuma Trust UK
London Community Foundation
Mactaggart Third Fund
The Polonsky Foundation
Rix-Thompson-Rothenberg Foundation
Swiss Cultural Fund

We also want to thank the Barbican Patrons, Members, and the many thousands who made a donation when purchasing tickets or at the Centre.

The Barbican Centre Trust, registered charity no. 294282