The Bird Book



For everyone age 3+ 
In this intimate, interactive theatre piece, puppetry, storytelling and live music bring to life the story of the Osprey, one of Britain’s rarest birds

Performance capacity: up to 30 children plus adults

Performance duration: 40 mins plus 15 mins questions and discussion.

Minimum space requirements: 4x4 metres playing space, plus room for audience to sit in front of this area. Can be performed in most classroom spaces, also works well in studio theatres, museum spaces and libraries.  

"The children were spellbound. Inspirational storytelling, amazing puppetry and prop design. I highly recommend it.” 
Peter Desmond, head of Haringey Music and Performing Arts Children’s Service 

Click on our reviews section for more comments on The Bird Book.

The project has been developed with support from Awards for All and is linked to several key areas of the National Curriculum. The Bird Book project includes a performance, workshops and an educational resource pack.

The Story

The Bird Book links an exciting adventure featuring two puppet boys, Eric and Bill, with the fascinating true story of the Osprey’s migration journey.  Eric and Bill journey into the world of a giant pop-up book to follow the birds all the way from Africa, across the North Atlantic Ocean, to the rich feeding grounds in the Welsh valleys. The boys encounter amazing landscapes, extreme weather and wonderful wildlife along the way…

The Performance

The Bird Book is a 40-minute piece of interactive theatre designed especially for small-scale performances in school classrooms, libraries, museums, small theatres and festivals. A post-show discussion lasting approximately 15 minutes then gives the audience an opportunity to meet the puppets and ask questions about the story.

Curriculum links

This production links to several key areas of the National Curriculum, including 

  • Geography:  Climates; Weather around the world; Atlas work; Maps  
  • Science: Animals and Habitats; Food Chains;  Ecology and environmental issues, protecting natural habitats 
  • Design and Technology – Puppet making; Textiles 
  • Literacy – Scripts and play writing; Instructional writing (eg. how to make a puppet; Imaginative writing (eg. a bird’s flight, a journey story)  
  • Speaking and listening – The Bird Book performance requires active participation and direct dialogue between audience and puppets. A question and answer session after the show provides further speaking and listening opportunities. The Bird Book workshops give opportunities for role play using puppetry. 

Workshops

Most workshops begin with a performance in the morning, which acts as a starting point for a creative workshop that runs for the rest of the school day.

We also run week-long residencies in schools, where children create their own production with their puppets and perform it at their school.

Other workshops of varying length and format can be tailored to suit the needs of the venue for arts centres, libraries, museums and festivals.

The workshops are hands-on creative sessions for up to 30 children, facilitated by two experienced workshop leaders with full CRB checks. The participating children will create their own puppets, using The Bird Book as a starting point. The workshop complements the National Curriculum for Art, Design and Technology by allowing pupils to select and investigate the properties of a range of textiles and follow processes through marking out, measuring and joining to create three dimensional puppet structures. Opportunities for teachers to extend this work into further design and drama activities will be provided in the education pack.

Longer workshops and residencies can also complement literacy work, extending the use of the puppets into storytelling, role-play and drama.

Education Resource Pack

This pack has been designed especially for The Bird Book project and will be available to each participating school. The pack provides resources and inspiration for teachers to explore the project’s many links to the National Curriculum, from science and geography to art, D+T and music.