A VERY ODD BIRTHDAY PARTY 2022
'This show is incredible. It is a must watch! If you haven’t already bought your tickets… get buying.'
'Completely loved the show! Such a rollercoaster of emotions you go through while watching it. One minute you're laughing your head of, the next trying to hold back the tears. Absolutely beautiful and a pleasure to watch!'
'Such a beautiful play. I laughed, I cried, and I was gutted when it was over!!'
In 2022, we were thrilled that A Very Odd Birthday Party received funding to go on its premier tour of England.
Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Playwriting, A Very Odd Birthday Party is a new play by Hannah Donelon with live, traditional music. Directed by Anna Berentzen (Headlong Origins 2022; Royal Exchange; North Wall Theatre), a cast of actor-musicians told a story filled with humour, suffering, loss, and hope for the future. Creative audio description was embedded into the script with expertise from Chloë Clarke.
We invited audiences to join mother-to-be Eveline and her Dad Michael Moriarty on a journey that penetrated the psyche, humour, and trauma of being a first and second-generation immigrant in the UK. A Very Odd Birthday Party revels in the complexities of family, working-class identity, and memory. The play centres around Eveline, 32 and heavily pregnant, born in the North West to Irish parents. Her father now has dementia and Eveline has recently become obsessed with trying to meticulously capture every detail she can of his life: his life in Ireland; his emigration to England; her childhood. As the birth of her son approaches, she is treading a fine line and neglecting her relationships, reality, and reason.
Drawing on Hannah’s cross-culture work with musicians in and from Ireland and India, the play also used music to explore the common tensions and celebrations found within the 1st/2nd generation experience.
In addition to this, we hosted some amazing across the UK including our first fundraising gig (thanks to everyone who joined us!) and workshops for artists. We also forged friendships with incredible community groups for people aged 60 and over and hosted workshops and Q&As all around themes within the play, as well as the industry on a wider level.
This tour was delivered in partnership with The Met, Bury and Liverpool Irish Festival, and was supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and by funding from the Consulate General of Ireland, Manchester. Thank you to The Production Exchange for initial funding and support during the very early stages of development. And a huge heartfelt thank you to the fantastic creatives and actors who worked with us during ROOT.
In 2020 We were lucky enough to receive funding for our project: ROOT.
ROOT was supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England with lots of in kind support from amazing artists and venues, including The Met in Bury. ROOT saw us R&D seven new plays for the stage which explored themes of working class identity and heritage. Five of these R&Ds took place online over Zoom, and two took place in person at The Met. These two then featured at our online sharings for friends, family, and industry professionals.
After an open call out, we were thrilled to R&D the following plays:
A Very Odd Birthday Party by Hannah Donelon
Billy Buckle and the Stolen Mandolin by Jim English
£1 Thursday by Kat Rose-Martin
Loud Whispers by Nicola Schofield
Memoriam by Noga Flaishon
Aggression by Wesley Charles
Bananas by James Cooney
Click on the videos to watch footage from our R&Ds!
ROOT was supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Find out more about the work Arts Council England do by visiting www.artscouncil.org.uk
CREATIVE SPACE PODCASTS
A lot of our work involves meeting with and learning from incredible community groups. This allows us to ensure that the theatre we are creating is authentic and speaks directly our local communities. In partnership with Barber Presents, we developed our Creative Space Podcasts that give an insight into our creative process at Hawkseed Theatre, as well as providing simple tips and suggestions for how to make space to be creative in every day life. These are now available exclusively to our network of community groups. For more information, please get in touch.