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BURNOUT by ShyBairn Theatre

‘Like the planet I’m trying to save I am screaming - and you want me to speak of hope?’ 

Amara meets Bridgette at a protest, one of those, ‘hippy, green, save-the-planet’ things. She’s just popped out to grab some milk and now she’s late - and there's a flood coming. 

Bridgette’s a committed activist. Amara’s about to finish her GCSEs. Their town’s been flooded. 


But how’s getting arrested going to help anything? They can’t afford to do that. 

Running time: 60 mins plus after show Q&A
Age guidance: 12+
Please note that due to technical difficulties, this evening's performance will not be captioned.

BURNOUT was created with climate activists across the UK. The show exposes the burnout experienced by activists from marginalised communities alongside the burnout of our planet. 

BURNOUT is written by Nicole Acquah (Women’s Playwriting Prize Shortlist 2022 for SANKOFA) and devised by the company. It’s a call to action for audiences to think about privilege, activism and climate justice. 


  • Haze is used

  • Explores racism, micro-aggressions, classism, effects of climate crisis (flooding, burnout, eco-anxiety). 

  • There is audience interaction where the audience will be asked (but not forced) to carry out instructions given to them by the performers.

  • BURNOUT invites audiences to interact if they want at moments throughout the play. This could involve reading text, holding an object, or coming up on stage. You can join in if you want, or watch from your seat.

Post-Show Discussion Information

Post-Show Discussion: ‘Underwater by 2050: The Impact of Flooding on Communities’

Post-Show Discussion with ShyBairn Theatre, Local Activists, Supply Chain Specialist Jemima Evans, in collaboration with Shelterbox.

In conversation about the effects of the climate crisis, particularly the impacts of flooding plus an opportunity for audiences to ask questions.


Who is on the panel?

Hosted by Becky Jones, Producer for ShyBairn Theatre

Joined by:

Jemima Evans (she/her), Supply Chain Specialist at Shelterbox
Jemima is a Supply Chain Specialist at Shelterbox, a disaster relief charity providing emergency shelter to communities around the world who have been directly impacted by the climate crisis.Recognising that the humanitarian sector also has a role to play in protecting our environment, Shelterbox has been focussing on making problem packaging reductions within their supply chain. 

Jemima lives on the Cornish coast and swims everyday, it is a constant reminder of how wonderful our earth is and why we need to protect it.

Adrian Lawson (he/him), Activist with Extinction Rebellion & Ocean Rebellion
Adrian has been campaigning about climate change, environment and the natural world since the 1990s. He has been an activist with XR, Ocean Rebellion and the Red Rebels and several small theatrical activist groups, as well as campaigning on provision of cycling infrastructure in Reading. Adrian manages a wetland nature reserve near where he lives and has experience working with people fleeing persecution often brought about by climate breakdown.

and one of the following ShyBairn company members:

Caitlin Evans (she/her), Director of ShyBairn Theatre
Caitin is a Theatre Director and Theatre Maker from Newcastle, making collaborative theatre that is politically and socially driven. She graduated from MFA Advanced Theatre Practice at RCSSD (Distinction), launching ShyBairn in her final year. Caitlin was mentored by Abbi Greenland (RASHDASH), Producer Katie Kerry (Society of London Theatre) and Billy Barrett (BREACH Theatre). Caitin has also worked as an Assistant Producer for Dante or Die and Peut-Être Theatre.

Lekhani Chirwa (she/her), Performer in BURNOUT
Lekhani is an actor-writer from Cumbria and based in Manchester. She is a queer, working class and neurodivergent woman. Lekhani trained at London South Bank University and Identity Drama School. She is also a member of Anti-Racist Cumbria.

Chloe Wade (she/her), Performer in BURNOUT
Chloe is an actor, writer and proud northerner from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. She trained at The International School of Screen Acting and is an alumna of WoLab’s Actor-Writer course. Chloe’s passions include female driven narratives, stories that give a voice to the voiceless and work that utilises humour to explore serious issues. Chloe is the reigning champion at Birmingham Rep Theatre’s Monologue Slam with her self-penned comedy piece May I Take Your Order, and has just completed her new play As SHE Likes It, inspired by the story of #MeToo pioneer Patricia Douglas, which is currently being developed for a 2024 tour.


About the Companies

ShyBairn Theatre

SHYBAIRN comes from the geordie phrase “shy bairns get nowt,” which means ‘shy kids get nothing’ or ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get.’ We are a collective of shy bairns, speaking up when no-one else will.

We devise performance for social change. Collaborating with artists, communities and individuals, we make theatre which explores socio-economic and environmental issues affecting the UK today.



Shelterbox are a humanitarian charity who provide shelter, essential items and technical assistance to help some of the world’s most vulnerable people recover and rebuild their homes after disaster. They listen and adapt their support to the needs of each community, working together with those affected by disaster, alongside their supporters and partners.

Read about Jemima’s work with Shelterbox here: