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It was "Yes" in Kyoto in 1997

The Kyoto Conference at the Swan Theatre. Photo (c) RSC

Kyoto, a major new co-production from the RSC and Good Chance. Premiering in The Swan Theatre from 18 June – 13 July 2024. Kyoto is written by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin.

Review by Ann Cee.

 Against all the odds, the world's politicians signed the Kyoto Protocol on climate change - an unanimous decision that marked a seismic shift in global politics and emissions management.


And it's thrilling that Good Chance commissioned a play to mark the historic moment when the world's politicians forged a new path for the planet's people.

Creative staging with actors and audience. Photo (c) RSC.


The narrative covers a ten year period which marks the twists and turns in international diplomacy in the lead up to the Kyoto conference.  Charismatic, driven, US lobbyist Don Pearlman (Stephen Kunken) takes us through the drama as he works tirelessly for the interests of oil producers and consumers, accompanied by his loyal and affectionate wife, Shirley (Jenna Augen).


This is a tremendously written play (Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson) that will hold its place in our cultural life, long after we've forgotten what the real John Prescott (Ferdy Roberts) and Angela Merkel (Ingrid Oliver) look like.  The play captures the humour and the humans involved in the politics as they spar with bright wit and steely grit.

A co-production between the RSC and Good Chance. Photo (c) RSC.


This is a funny play and very relatable to the average person.  It's also an incredibly creative staging that naturally blends the actors and the action with the audience members.  For significant parts of the show, I was a delegate at the Conference and felt fully immersed in the drama. I loved being part of the international hubbub.


Raul Estrada-Oyuela (Jorge Bosch) was superb as the wily Chair of the Conference, as skilled behind the scenes as when leading proceedings with his gavel.


In short, the evening was buzzy, challenging, fast moving, and fun.  Absolutely brill.

Read the full cast biographies on the RSC website. 





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