Julian Crouch and Saskia Lane’s BIRDHEART – An intimate and stunning chamber piece of animated theatre with a sheet of brown paper and a box of sand. A show about transformation, loneliness, and the urge to fly, BIRDHEART holds a hand-mirror up to humanity and offers it a chair. Through a series of animated images built in front of the audiences’ eyes BIRDHEART creates something achingly beautiful from the humblest of beginnings.
The show tells a story of man’s relationship to the world. An egg lies on the sand, and from the egg is born a large sheet of crumpled brown paper. The sheet of paper pulls elements up out of the sand; different hands, feet, heads. Sometimes the paper opens outwards and shadow images are projected in the heart of the paper figure. The figure dreams of a bird. Eventually, the sheet of paper transforms itself into a large paper bird, lays an egg, and flies off.
The onstage creation of something from nothing is at the very heart of the piece. The brown paper suggests the soul and emotion of the metamorphosing puppet, and the objects that are pulled from the sand give identity and story to the shifting characters. The egg reminds us of where we all come from. The uncontrollable nature of the material means that each show is different and grows organically in the moment.
Birdheart features a recorded soundtrack of double bass and banjo composed and performed by Saskia Lane and Julian Crouch.