Birthday Day, touring 2024
Devised by The Company, from A Notable Oak Tree by Nick White
Director Nick White
Dramaturg Jesse Briton
Designer Julie Read
Composer Eleanor Westbrook
Movement Director Georgia Wall
Performers Rachel Cohen, Helena Payne & Eleanor Westbrook
“Sweet, poignant, nostalgic and terribly tragic”
Theatre made for farms
Birthday Day is inspired by the short story A Notable Oak Tree, which itself was inspired by conversations with Somerset farming families including The Palmers of Bower Hinton, The Denmans of Merriott, and The Wares of Kingsbury Episcopi. It explores the relationship between agriculture, heritage and story. It brings people together through food and theatre. It encourages us to reflect on the relationship we have with our own family community.
It can work in a field, an orchard, or in the yard. If there’s a view, that’s even better. Animals & machinery nearby are a gift (we'll leave them be).
As an event, this show will attract up to 60 people to your farm per performance.
If you sell produce from your farm or have a cafe onsite, this is a great opportunity to sell to the people our show brings in. We’d encourage you to lay on food around the performances, or promote your products.
We can promote your shop, your produce, or your cafe as part of the audience experience.
Sometimes, what we remember is happier than what is true. Family ties, birthday celebrations and pavlova come together to reveal the secrets hidden in Somerset’s strawberries.
Originally commissioned through Take Art’s Cultivate programme in 2022, Birthday Day is a story about the truths and lies of a farming family.
Three performers and the audience seamlessly entwine to create an annual family party, spanning 70 years. Uncle Brian, Cousin Georgina, Granny and Grandad: they’re all there to celebrate Jeanie and Lily’s joint birthday. Two sisters who share everything - including a birthday. But one year, on one birthday, at one family party, things change forever.
How it works, dates & cost
The show is set up as an informal family party. Think trestle tables, handmade bunting, great granny’s table cloths and a massive pavlova. Performers and audiences are cast as members of the same extended family.
The performance takes place in a small marquee, around tables, with the action weaving between the audience.
Running time: 50-60 minutes
Capacity recommended at around 50-60 people
Birthday Day does not use lighting design or amplified sound
The show tours with three performers and one stage manager
Venues will ideally have accessible parking and amenities
Birthday Day is available on weekdays, weeknights & weekends during these windows:
19 - 23 May
1 - 16 June
24 June - 21July
24 August - 1 September
We can offer two options for booking the show:
Option 1: Book up to 2 x performances of the show in one day for a fee of £600. You take 100% of the box office.
Option 2: Book up to 2 x performances of the show for no charge. We’ll take 100% of the box office. We will charge £10 full price / £8.50 concession.
We’ll be accepting donations at the end of each performance to support Somerset Emergency Theatre, our ongoing programme to address the challenges facing the live performance sector in
Somerset, North Somerset and Bath & North East Somerset.