Review: Life on Water at Bike Shed Theatre

When the well is dry, we will know the worth of WATER (Benjamin Franklin)

Chloe Whipple spent exactly one year learning the worth of water.

Then she stood on the Bike Shed Theatre stage with her pint of water ‘friend’. Her three 5 litre water bottles, her measuring jug, her plastic bucket, and her purple trug. Detailing the inspirations and outcomes of her year-long experiment – to drastically reduce her water consumption – in a funny and captivating performance.

Review: Life on Water at Bike Shed Theatre. Exploring Exeter 2018

On hearing David Attenborough state that

All the water that is on earth has been the same water since the beginning of time”

Chloe’s mind was blown and she wanted to get to know water better. With lots of help and guidance from her science friend, Peter Melville-Shreeve, she found out lots of fascinating water facts: that humans on average are 60% water; that the earth’s surface is 71% covered by water; our oceans hold 97.5 of this surface water; that the other 2.5% is fresh water; only a very small percentage of this is accessible to humans; and that here in the UK the average human uses 150 litres of water EVERY DAY (that’s the equivalent of 30 of those large water bottles you may take camping). Drinks, food, baths, showers, brushing our teeth, flushing the toilet, watering our plants/gardens, cleaning, washing our clothes – these are daily activities that we all do a lot of and likely all take for granted.

Review: Life on Water at Bike Shed Theatre. Exploring Exeter 2018

With the environmental impact of water consumption at the forefront of Chloe’s personal challenge, she set out to use just 10% of the average consumption: 15 litres a day for a year. Did she do it? – I don’t want to spoil the outcome in case she does future performances – but Chloe talked us through the trials and errors, the highs and lows, the tips and tricks, the figures and stats, the enormous amounts of ‘grey’ water. And last (but not least) she introduced us to her second best friend (water being her first) – her water butt! That part was truly emotional!

Review: Life on Water at Bike Shed Theatre. Exploring Exeter 2018

From start to finish, Chloe had the audience laughing-out-loud, participating on-stage, closing our eyes, holding hands, and chanting “WE LOVE WATER”: which we all clearly do. Her journey was certainly inspiring and she wanted to make the point that this was not about preaching to others, but was about self-learning and awareness for all. I am glad I recently had a water-meter fitted at my property. I will continue to nag my family to turn the taps off when brushing their teeth, we will not flush the toilet constantly – unless it’s essential and I will make better use of our own water butt. If you want to find out more about Chloe, her journey, the challenge rules or water-saving tips, check out


About the author:

Liz Finnie is our certified blogging Vino fanatic and gradual convert to organic living.

Liz grew up in Adelaide then York, and relocated to Exeter in 2010 with husband and 3 month-old daughter. With a scientific background in regenerative medicine (and now a second child) she works as a freelance science writer/editor. Having fallen in love with Devon’s beaches, towns, moors, farms, and people, Liz and family feel settled and are currently making their newfound house a home, whilst continuing to enjoy all that Devon has to offer.

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