Anthropocene: The Human Era from Gym Jam and Oxford Playhouse


The new interactive production from GymJam puts the power in the hands of the audience members to ask what impact our decisions make on our own footprint on the world. Inspired by the birth strikes by women who refuse to have children in light of the climate crisis, GymJam’s Anthropocene: The Human Era dives into the mind of Megan, a young woman dreaming about her future in the wake of the climate emergency. Time is stretched and warped as she sits in her bathroom staring down at a pregnancy test, in a multiple-choice adventure story inspired by Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch and Gecko Theatre’s Time of Your Life.

Co-director William Townsend said, “There are limitless human stories wrapped up in the Climate Crisis. My initial inspiration for the show came from a need to explore how excessive we are day to day in the UK. I’d sit and watch commuters at train stations bouncing in and out of shops for meal deals and disposable items, thrown into the streets or out of windows. Our convenience choices are often at an unsustainable cost to the planet. After R&Ding the show we found our human inspiration in the Birth Strikers, having kids can feel so normal that to choose not to is a powerful message. After all, who will be most affected by the Climate Emergency? To re-imagine and stream this show now is paramount for us, because when the pandemic took centre stage action and information on the Climate Crisis dwindled. Just look at our Governments latest approval of more oil and gas wells to be drilled in the North Sea. Every one of our actions has consequences and the multiple-choice element of our show just mimics this reality of our every-day life. We need to start working, daily, for the future we want to see for ourselves and our children. That’s what this show is for.”

GymJam is a physical theatre ensemble based in the South East of England. GymJam creates physical, visual and collaborative theatre that amplifies community voices & urgent messages. GymJam actively engages in unorthodox collaborations, in order to discover new ideas and forge unseen connections. Anthropocene was originally developed by Hueman Theatre and Ride The Wave Theatre Company in 2019 for the Camden Fringe. GymJam have adapted it into a piece of digital theatre in the form of a multiple-choice short film.

Running Time: 50 mins approx. | Suitable for ages 12+

Company information

Directed by William Townsend and Gavin Maxwell Director of Photography Michael Lynch

Produced by Gavin Maxwell, William Townsend and Alex Lui

Mentorship Omari Carter – Motion Dance Collective Technical design by William Townsend

Editing Lead Michael Lynch

Editing Supported by Gavin Maxwell and William Townsend

Sound design by William Townsend and Michael Lynch

Original compositions by Piksel

Original Theatre production developed by Hueman Theatre and Ride The Wave Theatre Company


Liberty Bliss, Max Curtis, Giulia del Fabbro, Megan Noakes, Risha Silvera, Abi Smith

Listings information

Streaming from 22nd April – 10th May

£7 Single user ticket | £10 Multiple user ticket

£3.50 Saver ticket (if you usually qualify for a discounted ticket or your current financial circumstances prohibit you buying one of the above)

Commissioned by Oxford Playhouse with support from TORCH (University of Oxford) as part of the Humanities Cultural Programme. Supported by Arts Council England.

Talks and workshops

Anthropocene Q&A : Making Sustainable Theatre & Environmental Action | 22nd April 2021, 7:00pm (1hour)

Join the makers of Anthropocene, William Townsend, and Gavin Maxwell (GymJam) discuss the themes of their new show Anthropocene and why making theatre that calls audiences to examine climate change and our own footprint on the world – what impact do we want to make and how can we create and support more sustainable forms of art and culture.

Anthropocene Q&A : Adapting Anthropocene Into An Interactive Experience | Thursday 29th April, 7:00pm (1hour)

Join the cast and creatives of GymJam discuss how the show began as a live performance and adapted to become an interactive choose-your-own-adventure experience. The Q&A will discuss how the team worked around social distancing filming schedules, including insights from film-maker Michael Lynch and cast members Megan Noakes and Guilia Del Fabbro.

GymJam: Power Up & Play | Saturday 8th May, 5:00pm (1hr 45mins)

GymJam’s Power-Up and Play workshop is a quick fire online creative blast designed to retain, recharge and recalibrate your physical theatre making and devising muscles.

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