“Where were the warnings – no one never told us! Who cared?”
Monday 9th July 2018. The location is The Epic Centre, Lincoln, and 140 delegates are anxiously waiting to be taken into the unknown. Having arrived to the launch of Anglian Water’s new initiative Water Resources East (WRE), a project that brings together partners from a range of industries to collaboratively work to manage challenges aligned to water resources, our un-expectant guests were led to a dark empty hall filled with blue watery lighting and an eerie apocalyptic soundtrack.
Clearly not an event the delegates were used to, the guests looked on nervously as they were summoned in groups of 15 and taken through the doorway … into the future.
The year is 2060. In a little over 40 years the world has been turned on its head. We ignored the warnings and the combination of climate change, population growth and wasteful, unsustainable water usage led to extreme shortages.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome, to the future. I must advise you to prepare yourselves for what you are about to experience. Once you step through, what you see may shock you. It may even scare you,” explained our WRE time lord.
We had created a dystopian future, three sets that depicted the bleak future we face from the perspective of the general public, industry and environmentalist, all brought to life by actors in an immersive walk-through theatrical event.
Room 1: At Home – two protagonists shout and rant at our guests to give a hard hitting wake up call. “TAKE TAKE TAKE. Water companies just taking our money like business as usual, industries wasting our water,” they proclaimed.
Room 2: Agricultural Farm – “Hey – do you need help, any work, whatever, I don’t mind. But it’s been a while. Not since the great drought have we had much here. I used to own a poultry farm,” a desperate labourer explains.
Room 3: Rutland Water Reservoir – “People use to come here from all over. Take their Instagram…but it all went wrong when we had to start giving more of our water … didn’t realise the impact they were having on the environment,” the park warden cries.
Producing detailed sets and backdrops, writing scripts and casting actors, creating newsreels and headlines, and even creating murky water and cooking insects for our guests to drink and eat – this was an evocative launch event like no other. Far removed from the traditional speaker presentation and canapés this guest list would’ve been used to, we challenged them to act and join WRE after experiencing the dystopian future of water.
“Thought provoking look into the future of water” – Lincolnshire Rivers Trust
“Informative and enjoyable” – Defra Water