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Welcome to Wollongong’s Home of the Performing Arts

Birdsong of Tomorrow

22 - 24 Aug

A nature documentary for the end of the world.

By Nathan Harrison

Everyday in our gardens and our streets, birds sing. They sing songs passed down through generations, songs of a world that’s gone and a world that’s changing. Birds fill every part of the planet with melody and colour. They soar, swim and run. And a lot of them are chickens.

Birdsong of Tomorrow is a playful and heartfelt look at the birds around us, and what they might sing when we’re gone. A blend of science, storytelling, music and projection from a MERRIGONGX all-star team of Nathan Harrison and Emma McManus (Sorry Sorry Sorry), Tom Hogan (Mount Hopeless) and Solomon Thomas (UFO, COIL).

Spread your wings and hear the world anew.

“The starting point for Birdsong of Tomorrow was a morning sometime in 2020, watching a magpie sit on a fence and sing. I was entranced by his warbling, and then overwhelmed by this enormous sense of time. Birds have been around for so long, and witnessed so much change in the world, and it’s all in song. This sound I hear every day suddenly felt strange.  It felt like a way to zoom out and see myself in something much bigger.  

I wanted to make a space that captured that feeling – where something as familiar as a bird could feel unfamiliar, where you could get lost and find a new way to think about the world around us. Somewhere we could recognise birds as creatures with culture and memory, see the way they have adapted to the modern world, and use that to challenge ideas of human exceptionalism.  

Since starting to work on this show my life has changed a lot, and this project has changed with it. But birds have provided a frame for thinking about change, along with community, memory and grief. I’m lucky to have surrounded myself with some of my favourite people, creating a personal and playful space filled with hand-manipulated projection and live sound.” – Nathan Harrison

Photography by Children of the Revolution

Credits

Video and production designers Solomon Thomas, Clare Britton and Troy Reid.

Bios

Nathan Harrison (Writer/Performer) is a performer, writer and game-maker. A part of collectives Applespiel and Boho Interactive, Nathan makes theatre and games that explore complex ideas in playful, personal contexts. Nathan creates work about systems science, ecology and popular culture. 

Emma McManus (Director) is an interdisciplinary artist and producer. A founding member of performance collective Applespiel and Too Rude (with Maria White), Emma makes works that are experimental and collaborative. Recent work examines urban adaptation, gentrification, the brush turkey, gravitational waves science and unearthing invisible queer histories.  

Tom Hogan (Composer/Sound Designer) is a performer, composer and theatre-maker, writing songs and shows obsessed with myth, and authenticity. He has composed and designed over 100 productions and installations nationally.   

Solomon Thomas (Video Designer) is a theatre-maker and performer currently situated in Sydney. He explores the intersection between the physical and digital in theatre, experimenting with how theatre and film can co-exist in a live context. He works as a performer, puppeteer, theatre-maker and video designer and is driven by how these practices meet formally.

Living on Bidjigal Land in Sydney, Australia, Clare Britton (designer) is an artist interested in how artworks, people and landscapes hold stories. Clare’s work has attracted awards for sculpture, performance, design and research and toured in Australia and Internationally. Clare is a lecturer and researcher in the School of the Arts and Media, Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture, UNSW.

Troy Reid (design implementation) is a performance artist, deviser and theatre technician. A founding member of performance collective Applespiel, Troy has been making work locally and internationally since 2010. Troy’s work is centred around collaborative practice and participatory engagement, and areas of interest include the inhabitation of pop cultural forms, self mythologies and the body as a site of risk.

 

Thanks to the Esme Timbery Creative Practice Lab at UNSW.

Pay What You Feel

We want to make it easier to experience new works. So for this event there is no set ticket price. Instead, you simply reserve a spot, show up, then pay what you feel the performance is worth afterwards.

1. Reserve your spot for free.

Register and reserve your spot online.

2. See the show. 

You know this bit…

3. Pay what you feel. 

After the show, we’ll send you an email asking how much you want to contribute. You choose the amount based on your experience and your circumstances. There is no minimum or maximum amount.

IMPORTANT: Late cancellations within 4 hours of the event or non-attendance will incur a standard $20 ‘no-show’ fee per seat reserved. A non-refundable authorisation charge of 1 cent will be charged if this item is added into your shopping cart. If you do not attend the event, your card will be charged the no-show fee.

About MERRIGONGX

MERRIGONGX is our annual artists’ program. It focuses on supporting artists to take creative risks.

MERRIGONGX places artists and their practice at the centre of our community. From in-house creative developments to full-blown public presentations of new work, and everything in between, MERRIGONGX provides independent artists with financial, technical, marketing and artistic resources.

See all MERRIGONGX events.

 

We’re committed to delivering safe & enjoyable performing arts experiences.

For important information and FAQs, please visit www.merrigong.com.au/staysafe.

 

 

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