Hello! Please tell us a little bit about How To Save A Rock?
How To Save a Rock is a bike-powered climate comedy for families, which is completely carbon-neutral.
Set in 2026, the show follows the journey of Frankie, who receives a letter from the last polar bear on earth. Alongside her two loyal friends, Sam and Jack, she decides to save it. She travels through peat bogs and protests, through floods and data centres, to coordinates leading her to the very top of Scotland.
It’s an upbeat, magically realistic look at how we respond to social responsibility and eco-anxiety – which asks (and hopefully answers!) how to still have hope in the face of the climate crisis.
That all sounds super exciting! Tell us a little bit more about what makes How To Save A Rock so special?
For us, it’s that the show has a silly and fun approach, but also gives a positive and hopeful message about the climate crisis. It is urgent that we act now, with the climate crisis already having devastating effects across the world, particularly in the Global South. But we need to come together, feel connected & realise that we are not alone. If we act collectively, there is a future that we can work towards.
Making the show for a digital tour has also been super exciting for us. Whilst we’re gutted that it can’t take place live, we’ve always hoped that this show would reach as many young people as possible. Throughout the course of our digital tour, we’re streaming our show & workshops to schools local to our partner venues — meaning over 1,000 young people will see it!
Could you tell us a little bit about Pigfoot Theatre?
Absolutely! Pigfoot are the first explicitly carbon-neutral theatre company in the UK. We’re a multi award-winning company who make devised work with & for those grappling with the climate and ecological crisis, as well as running workshops for schools, young people and theatre-makers.
We reject the current systems we live in, but we embrace ecosystems and global connectivity. In everything we do, we try to ensure we make work that “practices what it preaches” (that’s what the Sunday Times said, at least) and we do what we can to share our sustainable practice with other creatives.
Why is it important to create environment-friendly theatre?
The reason we turned carbon-neutral is because we wanted to make shows about the climate, and not hurt the planet in the process. Pre-pandemic, the theatre industry in London has been shown to have a carbon footprint of 50,000 tonnes a year – roughly equivalent to driving a car 1.5 million times round the M25. And that’s without the carbon emissions caused by audience transport, which is an extra 35,000 tonnes in London – a relatively low addition, compared to the impact of audience transport to theatres in rural areas with less public transport.
As theatre-makers, we often pride ourselves on being socially responsible and empathetic – but this isn’t possible if we’re making work in a way which ignores the people we do not see, who are being affected by the climate crisis right now. We also believe we need to look ahead, and prepare for the future where, simply put, there will be no choice but to have a sustainable practice.
Any tips for other theatre companies who are thinking of being more environmentally friendly?
Lots! We suggest making sure that environmental sustainability takes centre-stage in your planning; structure in time for “green meetings”, or ensure the question of sustainability is raised at every production meeting throughout your process.
Another good place to start is thinking about the materials you use – ask yourself where materials come from and where they’re going, working towards everything you use being second-hand and having an afterlife after your show.
In How To Save A Rock, our lighting is powered by a bike cycled live during performance. If generating your own energy isn’t possible, we’d recommend investigating what energy powers the space you’re working in – if they don’t use a renewable energy supplier, why not ask them if they can change energy provider?
You can read more about how we make our work carbon-neutral here, where we also share some organisations and companies who are doing incredible sustainable work in the UK and beyond.
About the company
Pigfoot are a multi award-winning carbon-neutral theatre company, dedicated to making collaborative theatre with & for those grappling with the climate and ecological crisis. We reject the current systems we live in, but we embrace ecosystems and global connectivity. We make devised work with & for those grappling with climate and ecological crisis, as well as running workshops for schools, young people & theatre makers.