ENDING THE HOT WAR
The Bridge (Original Version; Version performed in Hilversum, the Netherlands 1992)
Peace Child – Creating the Future we Want – Geneva, 2013
After the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, it became clear that it was no longer interesting to perform the US-Soviet Cold War versions of the musical. Governments – and Peace Child – were preparing for the Rio Earth Summit of 1992: during the East European Peace Child tours in Hungary, Yugoslavia and the Czech Republic in 1990, PCI had already done a ‘Book Project’ – the Children’s State of the Planet Handbook – led by the incredibly talented Argentine, Analia Penchaszadeh. I already felt that doing books and pictures were probably a better way of delivering messages about the environment than our musical play. My opinion has changed as I have watched how books, plays, teaching guides – and even mass demonstrations and walk-outs – have failed to deliver the environmental legislation our planet so desperately needs. But, back then, translating the power and the passion of the Romeo & Juliet love story which was the driving force of the Cold War peace-building play into one about environmental issues seemed to me impossible.
In this section, we include the scripts that set us on the road to creating a version of the Peace Child musical that deals – not just with ending the hot war that humanity seems intent to wage on the natural environment that gives all things life (a war which, by the way, humanity shows every sign of winning!) – but also to help achieve first the Millennium, and now the Sustainable, Development Goals which every member government of the United Nations has agreed on our behalf. The first is Earth Child – a mythic tale I wrote in 1990 about a story a child to me: a polluted River comes to life to warn warring villages on its two banks to make peace and solve its pollution or risk a torrential flood. That story developed into The Bridge – and then to Green Peace Child – which David Gordon hoped would secure the support of the massive Greenpeace organisation. (It didn’t, sadly!) They contain some differentl Peace Child songs – Paradise, Somos Futuro, Peace in the Heart – which you might wish to weave into your own performances if you choose an environmental theme. Finally, these versions led to the environmental show we did in the Grande Salle of the United Nations Office in Geneva for the 20th Anniversary of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Green Cross organisation. This is the basis of all current Peace Child shows – but if you do it, I hope it is interesting for you to read my earlier versions of how the world and its young people take action to arrest the appalling damage we are inflicting upon it, and our future.