Skip to main content
The future is uncertain, and that’s a cause for hope

The Shell Trial

Rebekka de Wit

In the spring of 2021, oil giant Shell lost a legal challenge by a group of NGOs, including the Dutch environmental organisation Milieudefensie. It was a historic trial, because Shell was ordered to radically change its direction to stop causing global climate damage.

For years, theatre makers Rebekka de Wit and Anoek Nuyens closely followed the debate and the trial: they attended the shareholders’ meetings of multinationals, read press releases by and interviews with Shell, scrutinised contracts and policy documents. They discovered that a so-called scenario team at the oil company had predicted the court case some 25 years ago. What if we, as a society, could also rehearse for the future? Would we understand who is responsible and how we can solve the problems together?

A very well thought-out and intelligent concept that does not just appeal to the viewer’s understanding, but also to his or her personal responsibility
The Low Countries

In ‘The Shell Trial’ all the different voices can be heard in five monologues: the oil giant’s CEO, the worried citizen, a distraught consumer, the government and the future generations that recently organised a worldwide protest because not enough is being done to tackle the climate crisis.

Nuyens and De Wit explain in exquisite detail that the climate crisis is primarily a crisis of responsibility at this moment in time.
Never didactic or heavy-handed, but full of wonder and sometimes even pain
De Volkskrant