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Deep History

Image by Leanne Dixon

Armed with a projector, family photos and a pile of sand, David Finnigan and Reuben Ingall relate how 75 hours in modern Australia came to collide with an epic sweep of history.

At the end of 2019, in the English countryside, Finnigan began writing a play about the six turning points that have brought us to this moment in time – our ecosystems transformed, our planet on the brink of unthinkable climate disaster.

But then David and Reuben’s hometown of Canberra was hit by bushfires. As an area the size of England burned and one billion animals perished, he started to receive texts from loved ones racing to evacuate amid the devastation.

In a performance that interweaves 75,000 years of humanity with the incredibly personal account of his best friend’s escape, Finnigan and Ingall call on scientific research, phone footage and storytelling to illuminate unprecedented global change and how we’ve arrived here.

Shot through with humour, pop culture and a rich electronic soundtrack, Deep History speaks of resilience and hope.

The second episode in the You’re Safe series, Deep History premiered at the Canberra Theatre Centre in 2021 before appearing at the Pleasance Edinburgh and the Barbican London in 2022. The show received a Scotsman Fringe First Award.

Image by Sarah Walker

‘It’s hard to imagine a fresh perspective on climate change, but Finnigan finds one.’
****, The Scotsman

‘Finnigan captures powerfully… that climate change is not a future threat – it’s with us now
****, The Guardian

‘A must-see piece of theatre.’
****, Theatre Weekly

‘A reflection on our limitless potential for creativity, kindness and destruction.’
****, The Observer

‘A drama driven both by passion and… an effective theatrical verve.’
****, The Stage

‘Performance and message combine wonderfully… an emotive, energising and highly effective evening.’
****, The Reviews Hub

Written and performed by David Finnigan
Directed by Annette Mees
Music by Reuben Ingall
Video design by Hayley Egan

Image by Sarah Walker