Conference of the Birds

Frolicked is delighted to announce we have been commissioned to create a brand new outdoor show based on the Sufi poem, “Conference of the Birds“.

A flock of five magnificent bird puppets will embark on a visual and musical journey, beginning in Fairhaven Lake, Lancashire in 2021. Using skilled puppetry (and four-part harmony), the birds will sing their story whilst making their way through the landscape to find their destiny…

Commissioned by Spot On Lancashire as part of a series of new works entitled ‘Commissioning New Lancashire’, this outdoor performance has been developed in partnership with Fylde Borough Council and the Friends of Fairhaven Lake.

The following short film is a compilation of our very first wing mechanism experiments… trying to capture the movement of bird wings!

The original ‘Conference of the Birds’ poem was written in the 12th Century by Persian poet, Farid ud-Din Attar. The poem follows the perilous journey of all of the birds of the world to find and decide who will be their sovereign. Many of the birds perish along the journey, but those who make it to the very end realise that they themselves need no master – they are the masters of their own fate.

Frolicked’s version of ‘The Conference of the Birds’ poem plays out over a 45 minute performance that is both roaming and static. Five majestic birds operated by skilled puppeteers interact with the general public (both individually and as a group) using improvisation techniques to respond to their environment and the audience around them. During the show the performers join together in flawless, four part harmony. Musician and composer, Chris Davies, will create a series of original songs for the magnificent bird puppets, based on the poem itself and influenced and inspired by Persian music, the choral stylings of “Roomful of Teeth” and bird song taken from recordings of the natural world.

These Lancashire-born birds are part of a beautifully crafted show that is never the same twice…

Conference of the Birds commissioned by Spot On Lancashire