MacWac Theatre Company


All At Once I Saw A Crowd

7 Billion Humans in 2012, 10.1 Billion by the End of the Century

Over three years in the making, ALL AT ONCE I SAW A CROWD is a bilingual English & Chinese project that aims to weave many different art forms together to create a live theatre production exploring a core scientific issue: the impact of the exploding global population. Imagine a CASABLANCA for a crowded planet.  The script, by Andrea Montgomery was shortlisted for the Nick Darke Award 2012; one of seven out of hundreds of applicants from across the English-speaking world.

From the first Terra Nova has drawn our partners from Hong Kong and Macau into this project as we believe this topic cannot be addressed without a Chinese perspective. Artists from ten different countries have worked with us. Companies from London, Vancouver have joined us. We are hoping to include work with Greenlandic colleagues, starting with a visit to Nuuk in June 2013.

Our aim for the production is to work primarily in English and Cantonese, with other supporting languages, to create emotionally compelling characters whose dramatic stories allow a wide range of people to engage with the issues that which we believe sit at the core the population explosion:

  • the facts and demographics of the human population explosion, as well as the politics and ethics around birth and birth control
  • an understanding of the carrying capacity of the environments on which humans depend (both past societies and our imagined future)

Our play is framed by the story of Claire, a woman activist torn between two men, one Irish and one Chinese. We first meet Claire as a young population control activist in the present and follow her through to old age, as she struggles to choose the time and manner of her death. Set in 2017, her story is parallelled by two others: medieval lovers living in the twilight of the viking colony on Greenland and two young people coping with the reality of our world in the contrasting environments of Greenland and Hong Kong in 2060. The story takes place in Greenland, Belfast, London and Hong Kong.

ALL AT ONCE I SAW A CROWD features  film, animation and original music.  It is being created through years of professional collaboration across the globe, coupled with outreach work into a range of local communities in our partnership nations; built workshop by workshop, draft by draft, image by image, always striving to overcome language and cultural barriers to create beautiful and engaging theatre.

To find out more go to:

Artistic Methodology

Scientists, Advisors & Science Content

The Project Blog (by and for the team)


Picture Gallery (the workshops and activities to date)


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