Osborne & What: Birdy

Osborne & What, Birdy

Inspired by William Wharton's novel, Birdy is a moving, sometimes bleak story of friendship and family, dreams and survival that explores the effects of war, notions of sanity, and one man’s obsession with birds.

In it we are introduced to the character of Birdy – confined in a World War II military psychiatric hospital, vulnerable, locked in silence and trapped in the persona of a bird. Led by his childhood friend and fellow casualty of war Al, we journey back through their early years as they relive their memories. As Al and Birdy leave for battle their lives are changed forever, but who or what represents true sanity? The world we live in or those who question it's reality and reason?

Throughout the piece the audience enjoy a highly visual experience that includes bungee harness, rope, Chinese Pole and trick bicycle. The performance is intensified by powerful live music and song. Circus skills and original staging techniques are used to convey a sense of otherworldliness and a wide spectrum of experiences and emotions. Flight and birds provide a metaphor for escape from the confines of human existence and the mundane.

Looking for

Support: Osborne & What are looking for support for Birdy in the form of development time and space. The company also wants to provisionally book a tour for spring 2014 in order to support their next Arts Council application.

Technical specifications

Brief description of set:
The set involves a Chinese pole stage right, and a simple hospital bed which gets wheeled on and off and is used for different purposes. There is a rigging point which can be pulled up and down and is tied off to a strong point to stage left, to rig the bungee harness and aerial trick bike. There is a rope rigged stage left, and a slack rope is used in one scene.
Min dimensions: 7.0m wide, 5.7m deep, 6.0m high
2 rigging points in the roof and one strong point on the wall or floor stage left. Ability to rig a pole stage right.
Lighting plan:
Crew on tour:
1 performer rigger
Get in / get out:
3 hours get in / 2 hours get out