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Blog - Firebird Theatre

A Spark and a Beating Heart


Firebird Theatre. Photo © Paul Blakemore

In May of this year, we performed A Spark and a Beating Heart in Bristol. In 2018 we hope to take it on tour. We think people will get a lot out of seeing it, we hope people will get a lot out of seeing it.

I loved performing A Spark and a Beating Heart. I feel that Firebird has grown from the experience of making and performing it. It has opened us up to lots of things: we have stepped up!!

I felt brave telling our stories. Looking at people in the audience, they felt very close to us. It made everything feel very honest and open.

“Yes, a spark and a beating heart full of fire, just before the story starts or the lights come up, us small players become the main act.”

Firebird Theatre. Photo © Paul Blakemore

The audience seemed riveted by us, overwhelmed and yet really supportive, wanting to hear what we wanted to say.

Everything came together, it was a wonderful script – it became more apparent as time went on, how professional we are. What do we mean by professional?

First of all, it is how we work, we work very hard and we are determined to get ahead in the theatre; we have improved ourselves over the years by learning new skills, working and collaborating with other theatre practitioners. With each production we feel we have stepped up a notch. We are always trying to bring something new onto the stage for our audiences.

Sometimes when we see the work of other companies we wonder what they are trying to say, what they are trying to do and then we realise how professional we are because we know what we are trying to say, we know what we are trying to do.

Photo of Firebird Theatre actor Sharlie Yea dressed in black top and glasses.

Sharlie Yea. Photo © Paul Blakemore

A Spark and a Beating Heart is about us. Who we are, how we came here and why we do what we do. We have mixed the many myths of the firebird and the phoenix with our stories: reflecting on the lives we have lived and looking to the future. A Spark tells our stories.

A Spark and a Beating Heart began as a seed of an idea in 2013. We wanted to make a piece of work to celebrate 25 years of performing in the professional theatre, mainly at the Bristol Old Vic, beginning in November 1990 with Yellow Sun, Red Moon. It is now coming up to our 27th anniversary and thanks to support from funders and friends, we are able to realise our dreams for A Spark and a Beating Heart.

Imagine by Sharlie Yea
Imagine a kaleidoscope of colour
An explosion of sound, majestic and proud
Graceful and powerful
Elemental and seasonal:
Imagine a firebird.

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