» About Talking Birds

» About our work

Since 1992 Talking Birds has been producing thoughtful, playful, resonant, mischievous and transformative meditations on people and place. Our work, which we call Theatre of Place, is characterised by a distinctive blend of humour, music and visual flair in venues both conventional and unconventional across the UK and internationally - from the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank, to Kilkenny Livestock Mart; from a cavernous underground car park in Scarborough, to a decommissioned hospital in Coventry, to a giant aluminium whale which swallows up audiences one at a time.

Often our work is made collaboratively, connecting people and place in richly imaginative moments of identification and insight. It is our experience that this work - always generous and thoughtful, in many cases gently provocative - is keenly, and often profoundly, felt by the communities in which it is presented.

We're particularly interested in making work in places which the public don't often get into, the sorts of places that you might stumble across by accident. Places which have interesting features, histories and former uses, perhaps layered with recollections and associations which are on the brink of slipping from living memory. Or places that are at the end of one use and not quite ready for the next.

Our projects invite people to explore a particular place of interest in a mediated way; weaving together its stories - real and imagined - to make accessible this neglected or forgotten space and encourage people to examine it in a new light.

»20 pub quiz facts about Talking Birds


» the people involved

Composer and Co-Artistic Director Derek Nisbet has written a piece for cathedral organ to accompany a tightrope walk, a score for a performance in an underground car-park and a work for telephone answering machine.

Designer and Co-Artistic Director Janet Vaughan has designed site specific and touring performances, created installation artworks for unusual and digital spaces and made controlled forays into the world of public art.

General Manager Philippa Cross has managed projects and programmes (large and small), supported artists and cultural organisations in their development, and sat on both sides of the funding fence - at local, regional and national level. She’s worked with a whole range of partners in the cultural, community, regeneration and learning sectors, and is good at getting people to reflect on what they do - and work out how to do it better.

Resident Technologist George Mcgonigal-Webb has chief responsilbility for developing our digital access tool The Difference Engine. His post and the development of the Difference Engine in 2016/7 is supported by a grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Tour Booker for The Whale, The Q and Capsule Lou Lomas

Board Members John Gore, Jack Shuttleworth, Anouk Perinpanayagam, Grier Palmer.

Talking Birds is part of Arts Council England's national portfolio.

links to article about Theatre of Placelinks to The Virtual Fringe websitelinks to Talking Birds online shop