Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow – 4 Stars


Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

Chickenshed Theatre

Reviewed – 12th March 2018


“there is a real sense of inclusiveness and each and every young person on the stage is fully invested in what they are performing”


Chickenshed presents their latest production, Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow, a powerful piece of theatre combining music and movement to address the issue of man-made climate change. Fictional character Oscar Buhari, played by Ashley Driver, describes himself as an artist who “dedicates his life to witnessing human stories behind climate change” and throughout the production he narrates a series of short pieces depicting these stories. The result is ninety minutes of thought-provoking theatre, well executed by a diverse group of young performers.

Having seen a number of Chickenshed’s productions in the past, I’m used to their large cast sizes, but there is always the worry that this may cause the performance space to appear cluttered and overcrowded. In this particular production the cast is split across the series of short pieces, but even in the pieces made up of larger groups of performers, the stage is far from cluttered. The space is used very well in these instances, particularly during “Plastic Paradise”, a visually intriguing piece depicting the devastating effect plastic is having on our oceans.

Generally speaking, the choreography is very impressive. Each performer contributes to the piece they are involved in and there is some great ensemble work, particularly during “Pensive Hope”, an abstract montage representing the melting of polar ice caps. Another piece where the movement is particularly well executed portrays the destruction created in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The contemporary style choreography, combined with powerful music and projections of footage of the effects of the hurricane, makes for a hard-hitting piece and one that is definitely a personal highlight of the whole production.

A special mention must go to Dave Carey who has created some powerful original compositions that complement the stories very well. Over the course of the production, Chickenshed’s Vocal Voices perform a series of arranged pieces, such as “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” and, of course, the title song “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” by Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac fame. These pieces incorporate what is described as “the usual Chickenshed twist” and are delivered by some talented vocalists.

There is no doubt that Lou Stein has conceived and directed something special, with the help of what is clearly a group of passionate, driven young people. This is a thought-provoking, moving and surprisingly uplifting production, covering a very important issue. However, what stands out the most, as with every other Chickenshed production I have seen, is that there is a real sense of inclusiveness and each and every young person on the stage is fully invested in what they are performing, regardless of their abilities, backgrounds and personal challenges. That alone is inspiring.

Reviewed by Emily K Neal

Photography by Daniel Beacock


Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

Chickenshed Theatre until 31st March


Monolog | ★★★ | Chickenshed Theatre | February 2018


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