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Like There's No Tomorrow created by the Belgrade Young Company with Justine Themen, Claire Procter and Liz Mytton

Show image for Connections Play shows someone in a gas mask holding a plant in their hands

Like There's No Tomorrow created by the Belgrade Young Company with Justine Themen, Claire Procter and Liz Mytton

There are strange cracks appearing in the land on the other side of the world, turning habitats into wastelands and creating a new wave of climate refugees. However, no one's worrying about that here - where a mayoral candidate is promising more, more, more. New industries, new jobs, new homes and masses of new stuff - all of it achieved by expansive and rapid economic growth. It's what the people want. Apart from Maru that is, who's asthma is really bad because the air is already thick with pollution, and their mantra of reduce, reuse, recycle, is falling on deaf ears. Their only sanctuary is the local park. Lush and green, it's where Maru can re-connect, re-charge and breathe. However, as plans emerge to build on the park, and Maru's parents appear to be seduced by the mayoral candidate's invitation to consume as much as you can - something has to give. So, when a crack appears in Maru's new state of the art bedroom furniture and then it spreads to the centre of town, and Maru seems to be the culprit, it's enough to focus everyone's attention - as they seek to deal with the symptom, whilst remaining oblivious of the cause.

Like There’s No Tomorrow was created with the Belgrade Young Company, through a process of discussion, research, improvisation, scripting and revision. They first performed this play on Monday 9th March 2020.

Cast size: 10 - 16, plus additional ensemble members.

There are 8 named characters in the play, and a minimum of two additional company members are required to cover the chorus roles - making a minimum company of 10. The number of company members playing chorus roles could be increased to eight - making a maximum company of 16 with reasonable speaking roles. There is also the possibility of including a further 8 - 12 company members in non-(or little-)speaking roles, delivering the movement sequences in the city, the scene changes and the bringing to life of the folk tale in Scene 3.

Suitable for all ages.

Click here to view all plays from NT Connections 2020


Justine Themen (Devising Facilitator/ Co-Director) is a theatre director and change-maker. She is currently Deputy Artistic Director of the Belgrade Theatre and Co- artistic Director for its City of Culture 2021 programme. During her time at the Belgrade, she has built a small participatory programme into a broad-reaching ethos across the work of the building. The programme provides access to arts activity to some of the city’s least arts-engaged communities, shapes talent development opportunities that strongly promote diversity across the sector and creates new work for the theatre’s stages. Her co-created work includes Rise (Belgrade Young Company), Walk for Your Life (Belgrade Black Youth Theatre), Hussan and Harry (Belgrade Youth Theatre with Coventry Refugee Centre) and The First Time I Saw Snow (Belgrade Theatre). Directing work focuses on new work from female writers of colour – Red Snapper (Liz Mytton), Under the Umbrella (Amy Ng), both Belgrade Theatre. She played a key role in Coventry winning its bid to become UK City of Culture 2021, and is Co-Director of its signature event. She is also a Clore Fellow (2012–13). Prior to working at the Belgrade, she worked for six years in Senegal and Suriname co-creating theatre (Hia Maun, Stiching Botopasi) and documentaries (Abigail, VPro), and using the arts as a tool in development and cultural diplomacy.

Claire Procter (Devising Facilitator/Co-Director) is the Belgrade Theatre’s Creative Producer for Education. She has over twenty years of experience working with children and young people, both as a class teacher and theatre practitioner. Prior to joining the Belgrade, Claire worked for renowned theatre-in-education (TiE) company Big Brum. She has written and co-created a number of original plays for and with young people, including The Impossible Language of the Time (Belgrade Youth Theatre/Chris O’Connell), Room to Grow (Belgrade TiE) and On the Line (Belgrade Youth Theatre /Jennifer Farmer). Her work to integrate TiE methodology into the making of the Belgrade’s youth theatre work has been central to the development of the theatre’s participatory practice.

Liz Mytton (Wordsmith) is a playwright and poet based in the North West. She took part in the Critical Mass writing programme at the Belgrade Theatre in 2014, which led to the production of her first full-length play, Red Snapper, a runner-up for the 2016 Alfred Fagon audience award. In 2018 as a Bristol Old Vic open session writer, Liz wrote Across the River, about Marcus Garvey and the KKK, which featured in Bristol Ferment Fortnight. Liz has also developed a piece of work exploring hate crime, Southside Stories, which premiered at the Tobacco Factory in February 2019, and recently her own musical project, Shame Shanties, which uses seas shanties to explore women’s mental health. Liz regularly works as a writer and lyricist with Talking Birds Theatre Company in Coventry, most recently on a commission for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. She has worked with the Belgrade’s Young Company on two occasions in the role of wordsmith – firstly on Rise in 2017, and again in 2020 on Like There’s No Tomorrow.

The Belgrade Young Company was established to give young people showing particular talent/ability from across the Belgrade’s participatory programme an opportunity to grow their skills and abilities in a semi-professional context. Past work has included Frank Wedekind’s youth classic Spring Awakening, rarely performed by young people of the same age as the characters; a physical production of The Tempest with Frantic Assembly; and Rise, co-created with a company of ten young women aged thirteen to twenty-three about their experiences of discrimination and rising beyond it.

The Belgrade Theatre has an enviable track record of working in radical ways with young people through theatre. In 1965, it developed the first theatre-in-education company, a company dedicated to using theatrical performance and drama workshops to explore issues of cultural, social, political and moral significance as part of a free service to schools and the young people of Coventry. TiE encouraged children to investigate challenging situations for themselves, to search to find the answer, rather than be given it on a plate. This ethos continues to inform the work of the theatre today.