News Story

You might have noticed the Theatre Green Book logo popping up next to some shows on our website. Here's a bit more about it and how we're getting on with making The Caretaker to Green Book standards...

The Theatre Green Book gives theatre a path towards sustainability. This season, we’ve committed to making all of our Minerva Theatre shows to Theatre Green Book basic standards, plus Redlands and Cinderella in the Festival Theatre. This means at least 50% of production assets should be sourced from reused/recycled materials and a minimum of 65% of materials from the show should be reused in future.

Director Justin Audibert holds a playscript in his hand, and looks out at a rehearsal room. Blurry in the background, piled up rugs, boxes and bags can be seen.
Director Justin Audibert in rehearsals for The Caretaker Image: Ellie Kurrtz 2024

There will be unique challenges for each show. In The Caretaker, Harold Pinter is particularly prescriptive about the design; there’s a long list of props and descriptions of the set and costumes in the script. So there were a lot of props to source second-hand for this show and designer Stephen Brimson Lewis intends the set to give the impression of a real room – complete with a ceiling!

Take a look inside the rehearsal room at some of the amazing props and furniture the company have been working with.

Making a Green Book production involves recording materials and travel to assess the emissions associated with the show. A bit more advanced planning is needed – if the director and designer understand the Green Book, they can make decisions with sustainability in mind right from the beginning, making it easier for everyone to make green choices throughout the process. The Green Book also promotes collaboration. It’s all about sharing ideas as well as resources.

A rehearsal room, with desks and chairs around the edge of the room and piles of clutter across the floor. There are rugs, boxes, piles of paper, scraps of wood and metal. An actors sits on a chair in the centre of the room, facing away from the camera.
The company in rehearsal for The Caretaker Image: Ellie Kurrtz 2024

So how is it going so far? Well, it’s good news! We estimate that 94% of the costume and 100% of the props and furniture sourced so far are reused or recycled. So far, so good for the set too: Tin Shed Scenery have been gathering materials for the set from all kinds of sites, including some wood that needed cleaning thanks to a couple of friendly cows…

Actor Ian McDiarmid stands next to a tall pile of wooden crates, paintings and boxes in a rehearsal room. He is looking through a messy pile of white clothes or bedding. In front of him is a clothes drying rack and a table covered in paint and spray cans.
Props in the rehearsal room for The Caretaker Image: Ellie Kurrtz 2024

Read more about all things Green at CFT on our webpage and check back to follow our journey of working to Theatre Green Book basic standards this season and beyond. Green Week is just around the corner, so you can get involved with events and activities at CFT.

The Caretaker opens in the Minerva Theatre on Saturday 8 June.