China Plate and Staatstheater Mainz present

Talking About The Fire

If nuclear weapons continue to exist, we won't. That's where this show starts.


Age: 14+

A man stands with his right arm raised slightly. He is on stage looking out towards the audience. Behind him is a video projection.
A man holds a microphone to his mouth, whilst sitting next to an audience member wearing a mask. They appear to be looking at something out of shot.

Talking About The Fire

Created by Chris Thorpe and Claire O’Reilly
Written and performed by Chris Thorpe
Developed with Rachel Chavkin

Very few of us have lived in a world without nuclear weapons. Not me. Probably not you. They just… exist.

Sometimes the threat slides into view. Russia invades Ukraine, maybe. But that doesn’t make the weapons more dangerous. They’re always dangerous. And one day – deliberately or accidentally – they’ll be used again. And then it’s all over.

None of this is normal.

A few years ago I met a woman in a bar. She explained a new nuclear weapons treaty to me – one that’s trying to give the power to eliminate nuclear weapons to the states, and people, who don’t possess them. She knew all about the treaty because she was one of the people who wrote it. I’d never heard of it, so I had questions.

That’s how this started.

Supported by Battersea Arts Centre, The Albany and Véronique Christory.

For more information, please contact Susan Wareham.

Photo © Andreas J. Etter 

In Development

  • 26th October 2023 - 27th October 2023 at The Albany, Deptford

    Book now

Talking About The Fire is a one-person show, inspired by Chris’ larger-scale theatre show A Family Business, which draws on several years’ research with senior arms-control advisors, UN diplomats and activists working to develop the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), as well as officials representing nuclear weapons states.

Both shows examine the TPNW, and tell the story of its groundbreaking attempt to shift the power centres of diplomacy around one of the most urgent threats to human civilisation, by putting decision-making into the hands of a coalition of Non-government organisations (NGO’s), civil society pressure groups, and crucially, countries, mostly representing the Global South, who are normally sidelined or ignored in the ‘normal’ power-structures of international policy making.

As well as scenes based on deep research, and information about nuclear threat, Talking About The Fire contains a huge element of conversation with the audience – it is about bringing what is usually regarded as a remote world, inaccessible and dominated by experts, alive in the theatre, and giving the audience pathways to regaining their agency on the urgent issue of nuclear proliferation.

The show has undertaken two weeks of R&D at Battersea Arts Centre in May 2023 and will be completed in two weeks of R&D at The Albany in October.

For more information, please contact Susan Wareham.

Creative Team

A man singing into a microphone, against a projected backdrop.

Chris Thorpe

A critically acclaimed writer & performer; developing the final show in his trilogy with Rachel Chavkin.

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  • Writer & Performer | Chris Thorpe
  • Director | Claire O’Reilly
  • Designer | Eleanor Field
  • Production Manager | Rob Athorn
  • Script developed with | Rachel Chavkin and Staatstheater Mainz

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