Change The World Together
This highly relevant, heart-warming and entertaining musical captures the spirit of the times, being about a young person determined to make a difference in the face of climate change. Great songs - funny script - right on the children's wavelength.
Fifty years in the future, the people of a small town are celebrating their annual Tree Festival. Old Sofia explains that, when she was young, the importance of trees wasn’t understood - which almost led to disaster. The play moves ‘back in time’ to the present day, where a younger Sofia is the only protesting voice at the cutting down of too many trees. As time passes and weather patterns change dramatically, it becomes obvious that Sofia was right all along. The colourful cast of characters (including a know-all birdwatcher, a greedy landowner, three axe-wielding loggers and a bunch of windy cows!) make light of Sofia’s worries and soon there are no trees left. At last people realise that things must change and, with Sofia taking the lead, they plant new trees to replace those that were cut down and make adjustments to their lifestyles. Gradually the balance of nature is restored.
'Change The World Together' is not only a great leavers' show, it also provides an entertaining way to explain and emphasise the importance of trees to the environment. It was inspired by 'The Man Who Planted Trees' by Jean Giono, a story written in 1953 that's turned out to be highly prophetic.
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Author: Age guide: 9+ Running time: 55 mins No. of songs: 8
Review by Emily Baptiste – Services for Education, Music Services, Birmingham
‘Change The World Together' is a heart warming story of a determined girl who wanted to make a difference in the world. The songs are catchy and tuneful, the scenes flow well and the humorous script keeps the audience entertained! This musical is the perfect, relevant topic area for any school, church or dramatic group to explore and enjoy. I particularly enjoyed the humorous lines which tied the dialogue together and the sense of community which flowed out of the closing scenes which have a deep impact on the audience.
Review by Margaret Hull, Primary Head Teacher, Midlands
Thanks for a truly moving and inspiring experience yesterday. For me the solo was the key moment… because the song captures the central message of the play in the call to act, and invites us to react to it as a deep, inner calling. Even as we were doing the letter writing afterwards I had an example of the familiar depressing response ‘what’s the point of us in England doing anything when there’s China....India.....?’ Etc. To which I must say I simply pointed to the play they’d just seen!
Review by Claire Vaughan, Primary Music Specialist, Bourneville
Change The World Together is probably one of the best short musicals I’ve seen in a long time. It sends a very powerful message about how society is destroying its environment. This message is reinforced by a powerful script and wonderful songs. Whilst I saw this musical being performed by a community group, it would also work brilliantly as a school or class production. I would highly recommend this musical and can’t wait to perform it at my own school.
Well thought out and imaginative
Review by Lois (age 13)
'Change The world Together' is a well thought out and imaginative play. The songs are beautiful with amazing harmonies. It is a great play to make people think about their ways. Even I learnt something new through the performance and how to change things.”
Simple, effective, inspiring
Review by Carole, Birmingham
This musical brings issues of climate change to centre stage, in a simple and effective way. Although aimed at young people it can be adapted for any age group. What makes it enjoyable, instructive and inspiring is the music, which is exceptional – both poignant and upbeat.’
Captures the 'spirit of the moment'
Review by Claire Hollocks, Birmingham Music Services, Vocal Dept.
A stirring but entertaining warning from the very youngest of our population who will inherit the earth. Although there is a fair share of humour to be found in the script and a happy ending once the inhabitants have changed their ways, there is a clear message. The songs are very catchy, easily learnt and vocally age-appropriate. At the evening performance in All Saints Church, the musical was given an engaging performance by adults and children from the community, with great enjoyment. The lead character, in the guise of one familiar young female climate activist, performed with great aplomb. Staging was practical and effective, with rattan blind trees falling to the ground and then rising as new trees were planted. Although the accompaniment can be performed live, the backing tracks complemented the singing and the instrumentation added to the performance. This will be a very useful educational tool in schools and communities alike in the next few years. It has captured an important “spirit of the moment” and demands a response.
Review by Eli (age 10)
It’s an exciting musical about a young girl who tries to change the way people think of the world. I like the part of the musical that she starts planting trees. All of a sudden lots of people start joining in.
Timely production, needs to be seen without delay
Review by John Nightingale, retired vicar
The production opens at a date in the future when the assembled company is celebrating the beauty of their natural environment. Trees flourish. Birds and insects thrive. Then a child asks: has this always been so? The response is the telling of a story, told amusingly with a bevy of characters – a clumsy naturalist, psyched up woodcutters who dangerously swing their axes, and children in cattle costumes gleefully farting around. There are parts for every age and at each point in the action there is a song with simple and striking melodies in which everyone can join. One girl recognises that, in spite of the vacuous reassurances around her, no one has any solution. She becomes convinced that the problem began with the cutting down of the trees and will not be solved until the forest is restored. Against ridicule and obstruction she persists, with only the naturalist on her side. At this point she sings the solo “Some people can let things go. But I can’t.” She starts planting trees. As the situation worsens and the months go by, other people gradually join her, until the forest is completed and the balance of nature restored. Here is the issue of Global Heating expressed in simple story form, with a message of qualified hope. Technically not much is required. The speeches are not too long nor the tunes too complicated. The words are well-crafted and the range of parts is suitable for many in a faith or community group. This is a timely production, suitable for people of all faiths and none, which needs to be seen, heard and performed widely without delay.