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.
We aspire to make Art for Good, which we define as work that responds to the times in which we live and which aims to provide opportunities for dialogue and fresh perspectives; helps develop and promote empathy, human connection, social and ecological responsibility, and international understanding; and nurtures, supports and helps develop the next generation of artists and theatre makers, particularly in Coventry.
Talking Birds’ work champions the quirky, small, overlooked or unexpected, and chooses to sit just outside the mainstream. Our projects are built on: collaboration, conversation, participation, trust, warmth, generosity and sharing – and will be: fun(ny), accessible, gently provocative, ethical, relational and thoughtful.
We are guided by our Values, Talking Birds’ Six Big Ideas:
1. To define, and be leading exponents of, Theatre of Place.
2. To revolutionise the creative possibilities of accessibility.
3. To help reinvent the training required for the sector’s next generation.
4. To make work that is diverse, inclusive and empowering for those involved.
5. To be financially healthy, sustainable, and efficient.
6. To be green theatre makers.
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.
We put accessibility at the heart of our work and are pioneering affordable captioning/audio description with The Difference Engine, an app that brings captions to your phone. We call ourselves ‘green theatre-makers’ and strive to make responsible choices when making work, conscious of our shared responsibility to ensure a sustainable future for our planet.
Talking Birds also offers Nest Residencies for d/Deaf, disabled or Coventry/Midlands based artists with a creative idea they want to take to the next level, you can work in any medium with various levels of support.