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The Contingency Plan - Donmar Warehouse

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

WRITTEN by Steve Waters and directed by Caroline Steinbeis and Chelsea Walker, The Contingency Plan runs at the Donmar Warehouse from Wednesday, June 10 to Saturday, August 1, 2020.

The Contingency Plan comes in two parts – On the Beach and Resilience. Audiences can book the two over multiple evenings or see both plays in one day.

The country is threatened by a catastrophic flood. What can we do to stop it?

In On the Beach glaciologist Will Paxton returns from Antarctica to the home of his reclusive parents in Norfolk. He’s looking for reconciliation, but he also has news: a flood is coming. This will be the Big One. Is it the one his father predicted all those years ago?

Resilience – In the heart of Westminster, Will Paxton finds himself drowning in a world tired of experts. As Government Ministers manoeuvre for power, can he make them listen to a truth they won’t want to hear?

Steve Waters updates his critically acclaimed double-bill of plays about the climate crisis, in a timely co-production by the Donmar Warehouse and Theatr Clwyd, where The Contingency Plan will run from May 19 to June 6, 2020.

Steve Waters returns to the Donmar Warehouse following the premiere of his plays Limehouse in 2017, Temple in 2015 and World Music in 2004 (also Sheffield Crucible). His plays include Why Can’t We Live Together?, Europa, Ignorance/Jahiliyyah, English Journeys, After the Gods, Little Platoons, In a Vulnerable Place, Amphibians and Habitats. For radio, he has written Scribblers, Bretton Woods and The Contingency Plan (BBC Radio 3) and Deep Swimmer, The Air Gap, Little Platoons, Morning, The Parliament of Rooks and The Moderniser (BBC Radio 4). Waters is the author of The Secret Life of Plays.

The second production in Michael Longhurst’s second season as Artistic Director, The Contingency Plan will be designed by Alex Lowde.

For The Contingency Plan the Donmar Warehouse and Theatr Clwyd will work with Julie’s Bicycle, industry leaders on climate change and environmental sustainability, to ensure that the co-production is made in a sustainable way.

In response to The Contingency Plan, writer Nina Segal and director Joseph Hancock will explore visions of a climate positive future with Assembly (July 12 and 13), performed by the Donmar Warehouse’s newly formed Local Company.

What do we do with broken things? And how do we begin to start again?

Assembly is a show about what we build for the future. It’s about working together and breaking apart, about trying and failing and then trying again. And it’s about the environment. Because everything’s about the environment, in the end.

We don’t know exactly what we’re building. But we’re really going to try.

The first production in Michael Longhurst’s second season as Artistic Director is Pulitzer Prize-winner Suzan-Lori Parks’ modern epic In the Blood (April 17 to June 6, 2020).