Climate change may not be the most obvious subject for a play, but theatregoers in London have been turning up in droves to see scientist Chris Rapley give an impressive account of the subject.

The 75-minute play, illustrated with swirling video images, manages to captivate audiences just with the power of the bare, stripped down facts of science, and without relying on the usual catastrophe imagery and doom and gloom language. “2071” discusses the consequences of mankind’s dependence on fossil fuels – how 90 per cent of the world’s glaciers and ice caps are retreating and raising sea levels. Soaring greenhouse gas levels are affecting the climatic equilibrium which is the basis of modern civilisation, says Rapley, highlighting a global temperature-rise of 2DegC as a crucial “guard rail”.

To avoid such levels of warming, “the greatest collective action in history” is required. But audiences are left with hope that with energy efficiency and a greater use of renewables such as wind farms and solar power, mankind can start to tip the balance in a better direction.