‘★★★★’ – The Stage
‘★★★★’ – British Theatre Guide
‘★★★★’ – A Theatre Blog

In her latest performance, ‘Burnt Out’, Penny Chivas traces the trauma caused to the environment and Australia’s inhabitants by the devastating Australian bush fires in 2019/2020. Penny Chivas is an Australian dance professional, choreographer, and teacher who now lives in Glasgow. She uses movement, autobiographical spoken word, props, and singing to eloquently portray a story of sorrow, devastation, and pain that she has lived through in Australia. Her performance exhibits a powerful portrayal of how performance can claim it’s space within climate activism.

With unavoidable political undertones when tackling the subject of the climate, Burnt Out depicts the physical and emotional impact ‘Black Summer’ had on the people of Australia. As Penny sweeps the stage accompanied by props, her own acoustic singing and spoken work, David Bowes’ dramatic lighting sets the mood. With the addition of the shark sirens and bird sounds of magpies that learnt to mimic the emergency sirens, Paul Michael Henry perfectly constructed the soundscape of the performance.

Although the story behind the performance is personal to Penny, it conveys a message, or perhaps a warning of our changing climate that is global in scope. Penny’s performance leaves audiences moved and reflective and provides a glimpse into the devastation that is so hard to imagine for those who were not there, but too easy to remember for those that were.

“…a raw, emotive piece of work, exhibiting the real power performance art can have in the realm of climate activism.”

– Robert Goodall, Glasgow University Magazine

Burnt Out has previously been performed across Scotland including being played to a sold-out week long season at the Edinburgh Fringe 2021, the COP 26 Fringe and in 2023 premiered in Australia at QL2 Dance. Burnt Out will continue to tour Autumn 2023 in Scotland from Dumfries and Galloway to Shetland.

See Penny perform Burnt out alongside a performance of Just Enough Madness by Payal Ramchandani, another performance that tackles contemporary issues through dance, on the 16th June 2023 at Dance City.