another Parrabbola project
A conversation between William Shakespeare and the Environment. In 5 Acts.

Made by Parrabbola and community actors from Craiova for the 2020 Craiova Shakespeare International Festival HOME Edition. – 

this distemperature

This project was supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

“And thorough this distemperature we see
The seasons alter”

-A Midsummer Night’s Dream

We had already decided that we’d make a piece about Shakespeare and the Environment, Shakespeare and Climate Change as our community play for the Craiova Shakespeare Festival this year, and had held some great casting days with over 60 participants, when it became clear that the current situation would mean that the festival would have to be cancelled. 

Of course we were bitterly disappointed to miss out on an event that we love, working with all our friends in Craiova to perform, during the festival, on the streets of the city. And we knew that in Craiova our friends were feeling the same way. So we decided to take the project online in the form of this podcast.

It’s a conversation between William Shakespeare and the Environment – made entirely with community performers and members of our team – which has been recorded and edited by each of us working in isolation. 

We think it’s worth mentioning that everyone you hear is working with different levels of English familiarity as it’s not their first language, and we think that’s an impressive achievement.

Our situation today, brings into sharp relief our relationship with our planet. Now, when lives are restricted, we realise how much we are interdependent. And the balance is wrong and we need to change that, wherever we are in the world.

Shakespeare lived through difficult changing times, and his stories of the human situation are remarkably prescient, full of relevance for our lives today. He clearly loved the natural world around him, and cared for it through his writing.

We hope that by creating this conversation in 5 acts, we can encourage you to talk and to think about the issues that we raise, and to allow the words of Shakespeare, and of today to move you and move you to action.


  • The Shakespeare texts are taken from the plays, sonnets and the long poems. Familiar and unfamiliar, we hope you enjoy discovering them.
  • The contemporary texts are drawn widely from our explorations across the following sources and from our other reading.
  • Articles by Greenpeace on forests and on fires, including a report on the Amazonian Forest Guardians.
  • Live reportage from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on bushfires.
  • Transcriptions of coverage from the various global events mentioned from the BBC, Channel 4, and regional and international media across the Carribbean.
  • Various Wikipedia articles.
  • Print and online articles in The Guardian, The Independent and other world newspapers.
  • Articles from The Wilderness Society, International Rescue, Live Science and
  • Writers and commentators credited including Dr Tony Barrell, Terry Macalister, Larry West, Marc Lallanilla, Kim-Ann Zimmermann, Liam Dutton and climate scientist Reindert Haarsma of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute
  • Writing and speeches by Greta Thunberg on logging in Romania, Koide Hiroaki on Fukushima, Indra Sinha on Bhopal, Sir David Attenborough, George Mombiot, and Cristiana Figueres
  • Extracts from A World Without Bees by Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum, and from the Poem To A Bee by Stan Bunoaica.