Established in 1996 and based at the Cambridge Junction, 30 Bird is an award winning company, recognised as being at the forefront of interdisciplinary and transcultural arts practice in the UK.


30 Bird’s core ambition is to create new art forms, influenced by and capturing the multiplicity of its cultural inheritance, engaging with a diversity of participants and audiences in various spaces and places.


By nature, our work has an international flavour, collaborating with artists and practitioners from as varied a background as the UK, Iran, Europe, India, Japan and Turkey.


Similarly, our creative process is a collaborative one, working with practitioners from a variety of disciplines: architecture, science, anthropology, psychiatry and any other non-art discipline; mixed with visual arts, dance, music, theatre, film. Since its creation, the organisation has seen through various phases in its artistic development, always keeping at the frontline of cultural diversity, while stepping deeper into trans-collaborations.


This has led 30 Bird further away from traditional theatre representations, shifting quite naturally into the exploration of interdisciplinary practices, which seemed to echo transcultural approaches so well.

We value:






New territories





what we do

We aim to:


•    Embrace diversity across every aspect of our work


•    Create new art forms across disciplines


•    Engage with diverse communities nationally and internationally


•    Develop new talents in transcultural and interdisciplinary performance


•    Participate and contribute to research locally, nationally and internationally

Founded by Mehrdad Seyf and Claire Summerfield, 30 Bird came into existence as a visual theatre company inspired and informed by cinema, photography, visual arts and politics.


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.


From 1996 to 2000


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.


our team

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Philippa Karpas



Mehrdad Seyf


Lia Prentaki

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 multi-disciplinary and site-specific performance work, collaborating with visual artists, architects, dancers and practitioners from non-artistic disciplines.


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.




Lia studied Drama in Athens before coming to the UK to study Dance and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham and then at London Contemporary Dance School. Lia has worked extensively as a dancer, movement director, dance educator and producer.


Lia works at The Place as one of the Theatre producers as well as a Project Manager, Producer and Creative Consultant with a varied portfolio of independent dance artists such as Kate Flatt, Zoi Dimitriou, Hannes Langolf, Subathra Subramaniam, Moxie Brawl, Shane Shambhu and Rick Nodine. Has also relationships with organisations such as The Bloomsbury Festival, NFA international Arts and Culture currently co-producing Medea, Written in Rage translated and directed by Neil Bartlett.


Since 2015 Lia has been working with 30 Bird, delivering projects such as the British Council Funded Junctures in March 2015 and the HOME in the Service of Science, which was the culmination of the company year-long residency at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Lia is producing the flagship 30 Bird Projects: UN-FRAMED, JUNCTURES 2018 and a series of commissions and co-productions.

our Partners

Partners are key to our artistic creation process and we are grateful for the support they give to our innovative work.


Here are some of our main partners over the years:


Coutts De Lysle

Arts and Business

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

BBC Drama

Film London

BBC East

Escalator Shorts

Escalator East to Edingurgh

METAL Southend

Contact Theatre

Victoria Baths Manchester

Polish Cultural Institute

Hungry Arts

Imagine Watford

Watford Palace Theatre

The Basement

Battersea Arts Centre

Amsterdam Fringe

Lakeside Theatre University of Essex

Teatromania Festival


Traverse Theatre

Riverside Studios



Toynbee Studios

Cambridgeshire County Council

Bush Theatre

Cambridge Literary Festival

Cambridge Festival of Ideas

Cambridge Festival of Science

Institute of Public Health

The Place

East 15


Below are our most current partners .


Thank you all for your support!


If you would like to partner with us, please contact us @


Welcome to our press area. You will find most of our press material available here, including our latest press releases and images.

Do feel free to contact us if you have any queries @


Downloading images

Images of 30 Bird productions are available to download on our Flickr galleries. Please contact us for access @


Attending one of our productions/performances/events

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 @ Please note that any filming and photography is not permitted without prior arrangement.


Press Releases

Some of our press releases can be found here:


- Home in the Service of Science: LMB residency



- Junctures 1



- Domestic Labour at Edinburgh Fringe Festival



- MUD: Launch of A new Cultural Space at St Matthew's Primary School



- Plastic at Edinburg Festival



- The Persian revolution




Find reviews and interviews about 30 Bird's work below:


- Media reviews


- Audience reviews


- Media Interviews

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