New nationwide comedy show focuses on climate change

May 22 2024 Posted: 12:29 IST

Scientists and theatre makers are joining forces to bring a new interactive comedy show - driven by hopepunk, climate research, music and what matters most to the local community - to rural Ireland.

The first performance of We Built This City on Rock and Coal will take place at University of Galway on Thursday May 30th, with other shows scheduled for Galway, Cork, Donegal, Mayo and Antrim.

The venues range from arts centres to ringforts and the project will visit three offshore islands: Inishbofin, Arranmore and Rathlin.

By bringing shows to rural centres like Ionad Cois Locha, Interface Inagh, Wild Nephin National Park, and the Centre of Excellence for Climate Action and Sustainability in west Cork, the project aims to prompt discussion and change around environmental topics, while finding local positive steps towards solving climate change.

Each live show will include sustainability workshops and citizen science activities, along with a space for audience members to speak up or be interviewed. These material from the audience will then be used to improvise scenes, songs and sketches, making each of the shows unique.

We Built This City on Rock and Coal is co-created by Dr Jessamyn Fairfield, award winning science communicator and performer and lecturer at University of Galway’s School of Natural Sciences, and Katy Schutte, global improvisation practitioner and author. They will partner with Dr Gesche Kindermann, sustainability and conservation expert and lecturer with University of Galway School of Natural Sciences, and storyteller Órla McGovern, among others. Audience stories about climate change and climate action will also be collected and shared online as part of the Caomhnú citizen science initiative.

Dr Jessamyn Fairfield said: “The whole idea of this project is reclaiming our agency when we talk about climate change. We worked with rural communities to develop this project, and we’re thrilled to be exploring climate action, citizen science and sustainability through a comedic lens with people up and down the coast of Ireland.”

Katy Schutte said: “It's a great project where comedy gets to make the world a better place! The more we enjoy our local natural environment and the people in it, the more we care about the global climate crisis.”

We Built This City on Rock and Coal is a recipient of the Creative Climate Action fund, an initiative from the Creative Ireland Programme. It is funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media in collaboration with the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications. The fund supports creative, cultural and artistic projects that build awareness around climate change and empower citizens to make meaningful behavioural transformations. The project is also supported by University of Galway and iCRAG, the SFI Research Centre in Applied Geosciences hosted at University College Dublin.

More information including show dates and ticket links is available at 


Marketing and Communications Office


Featured Stories