‘Eco Worrier: A Climate Cabaret’ was dynamic.
Created by Hannah Gwatkin, in partnership with Anywhere Festival, ‘Eco Worrier: A Climate Cabaret’ educates audiences on the importance of being worried about the degeneration of our future world. Appropriately set in The Wilderness Society, an organisation that strives to protect Australia’s landscapes and wildlife, ‘Eco Worrier: A Climate Cabaret’ was part entertainment, part education, and 100% adhering to the Anywhere Festival style.
A passionate climate change activist, Sydney based performer Gwatkin drove to Brisbane in their electric car to help spread the word about rising sea levels, deforestation, and fracking in the Lake Eyre Basin. The intimate space was laced with posters of koalas and pleas to help save the Channel Country. Dressed in a leafy khaki dress, with teased hair and warrior face paint, it quickly became clear Gwatkin meant business.
Gwatkin’s natural talent wowed audiences – they seamlessly changed between tap dancing, acting, playing the keyboard, ukelele, saxophone and drum whilst singing parodies of popular songs, such as ‘I’m so Excited’ (The Pointer Sisters), ‘It Wasn’t Me’ (Shaggy), and ‘I Wish I was a Punkrocker’ (Sandi Thom) among others. Notably, audiences were wowed when Gwatkin sung a parody whilst playing the ukelele, tap danced with their left foot and played the drum with their right. Throughout the evening, audiences could be heard agreeing to Gwatkin’s pointed facts – the most important being “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem”.
‘Eco Worrier: A Climate Cabaret’ featured special guests – performed by Gwatkin. Never leaving the stage, Gwatkin transformed into the characters in front of audiences with simple costume changes. My favourite is Sebastian the crab from ‘The Little Mermaid’ who sung a parody of ‘Under the Sea’ which stressed the importance of the Ocean Treaty – a recently established treaty that will protect the world’s oceans that lie outside of national boundaries. Wearing a bright red jumper with white eyes on the hood, and long red oven mitts, Sebastian educated audiences in how protecting the oceans protects our ability to breathe.
‘Eco Worrier: A Climate Cabaret’ was cleverly constructed by Gwatkin to motivate audiences to take climate change seriously. It’s admirable to see such a talented artist use their craft to help save the planet, and generations to come. It’s crucial for Queensland audiences to see this work as most are unaware that we have “the gold medal for extinction”. The dynamic construction leaves me wishing I could see it again as the performance was packed with many witty facts and easter eggs. The show is important as rising sea levels and deforestation are often dismissed; however, we continue to reach closer to experiencing the devastating consequences of these changes.
‘Eco Worrier: A Climate Cabaret’ is perfect for those who are passionate about climate change, and maybe want to sway a friend or family member who may not be on the same page. I look forward to Gwatkin returning to Brisbane to continue spreading their passionate pleas through witty and energetic performance.
‘Eco Worrier: A Climate Cabaret’ performs until Wednesday, 10th May 2023 at The Wilderness Society in South Brisbane. For more information visit their website: Eco-Worrier: A Climate Cabaret – Anywhere Festival
If you are unable to attend, you can still help support Gwatkins by signing the petition to protect The Channel Country’s rivers and floodplains. By signing the petition, you are fighting against the proposed fracking in the Lake Eyre Basin. You can sign the petition here.