We make films, live performances and digital experiences with a strong visual aesthetic that explore questions of place, belonging and difference through humour and personal stories to provoke reflection and dialogue.
Our unique approach to democratic co-creation means participants from outside the arts have equal ownership of the creative process and outcomes.
Our work has an international flavour, collaborating with artists and practitioners from varied backgrounds, such as the UK, Iran, Germany, Italy, Poland, India, Japan, Spain, Chile, Greece and Turkey.
The driving force behind the creation of the company was frustration with the relegation of immigrant culture to terms such as minority ethnic, political, human rights, all categories designed to create an alien other out of the immigrant that made sure they remain firmly separate from the main structure of society.
In its first phase between 1996 and 2000, 30 Bird focused on productions created out of the clash between Western and non-Western contents, experimenting with theatrical form and emphasising visual mis-en-scenes inspired by the intersection of diverse spaces.
Influenced by practitioners such as Lepage, Hitchcock, Merce Cunningham and by thinkers such as Guy Debord and Jacques Lacan, the company created The Parable of the Blind (1996) followed by Death By Heroine (1998) and But You Speak Such Good English (2000), a documentary featuring the rise of Iranian stand up comics in London.
Mehrdad was born in Teheran and has lived in the UK since his teens; he was educated at the Lycée Français in Tehran and London. After studying Literature and Philosophy, he trained as a psychoanalyst at the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research and subsequently worked for 3 years as an analyst. He trained as an actor/director with Complicité, Monica Pagneux, Zoltowski and Lorna Marshall. He founded 30 Bird in 1996 at Riverside Studios.
His theatre credits include The Parable of the Blind, Death By Heroine, Majnoun, The Persian Revolution, Plastic, Chodzenie-Siberia, Poland 3 Iran 2, 14 Tables and Domestic Labour: a study in love.
His productions have toured nationally and internationally. His film credits include: but you speak such good English (executive producer), Yalda for BBC Drama and Film London (writer), Shoes for BBC East(director). Radio Plays include The Virgin and Yalda both for Radio 4. Mehrdad also creates interdisciplinary and site-specific performance work, collaborating with visual artists, architects, dancers and scientists. He was resident artist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, creating Home in the Service of Science in 2016. He was also commissioned to create Borderline Estate Agents by the Wellcome Collection in 2019. He created the Junctures interdisciplinary festival (2014 – 2019) supported by the Elevate fund from Arts Council England. Mehrdad is also a PhD research student at Anglia Ruskin University.
Philippa was born and raised in London and completed a degree in Fine Art Painting at Bath, followed by a Masters Degree in Critical Studies in Visual Art and Theatre at Wimbledon School of Art. Her love of arts has meant she has continued her own creative practice and in 2012 formed Cosy Mama working as a Designer Maker of felted work with an eco-conscience.
She has lived in Cambridge since 2005 and her association with 30 Bird goes back to 2009 when she previously worked as Company Manager. Following a break to have children she went on to work in the Photographic Collection of the Museum of Archaeology of Anthropology before returning to 30 Bird as Project Manager on MUD The Place Where We Stand.
Philippa is passionate about the visual arts and interdisciplinary practice with the innovative possibilities that it can bring. She continues to work on the next phase of MUD alongside her role as Company Manager overseeing the management of the organisation alongside the Artistic Director and the rest of the projects teams.
Here are some of our main partners over the years:
Arts and Business
Battersea Arts Centre
Cambridgeshire County Council
Cambridge Festival of Ideas
Cambridge Festival of Science
Cambridge Literary Festival
Coutts De Lysle
Escalator East to Edinburgh
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Institute of Public Health
Lynda Jeannot Design Studio
Lakeside Theatre University of Essex
Polish Cultural Institute
St Matthew's Primary School
Victoria Baths Manchester
Watford Palace Theatre
Below are our most current partners .
Thank you all for your support!
If you would like to partner with us, please contact us @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Do feel free to contact us if you have any queries @ email@example.com.
Images of 30 Bird productions are available to download on our Flickr galleries. Please contact us for access @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are covering one of our productions/performances/events for a press/media/online review, we are happy to put aside a ticket for you. Please contact us in advance @ email@example.com. Please note that any filming and photography is not permitted without prior arrangement.
Some of our press releases can be found here: