Poland 3 Iran2


Culture War, Andrew Haydo
"One of the best things I’ve seen this year."
Total Theatre, Dorothy Max Prior
"A beautiful exploration of boyhood, of family eccentricities, of migration, of political resistance, and of a father-son relationship as experienced by two men, one of Polish heritage (visual artist Chris Dobrowolski) and one Iranian (30Bird’s director, Mehrdad Seyf), a feast of razor-sharp observations and bizarre confessions that extend beyond the immediate subject matter to grasp at universal"


Three weeks****
"Watching this excellent show gave me the sort of feeling you get when you open a time capsule… Seyf and Dobrowolski are extremely charismatic and this is a wry and charming slice of history, a must for anyone who’s ever traced back a family tree or idolised a footballer."
The Observer, Tom Lamont
"A charming production…two friends – Iranian Theatre Director Mehrdad and half Polish, all Essex artist Chris – deliver a brisk autobiographical lecture practically off the bar counter."
The Stage, Thom Dibdin
"The setting is perfect for the pair’s delivery - the geekish examination of Panini sticker albums, the holiday snaps and the installation of a train hauling a human cattle car, is just context, for a thought provoking production that goes much deeper than first appears."
The Scotsman, John Glen
"Ultimately, though, the message is one of hope, and that the memories we hold, even the seemingly insignificant ones, should be cherished forever."


The Guardian ****

Selected by The Guardian as one of the top seven shows in The Edinburgh Festival

“Plastic, a slick, stylish 55 minutes from Mehrdad Seyf and the Anglo-Iranian company 30 Bird Productions, meditates on many things without settling conveniently on one. It touches on consumerism as well as oppression and surveillance, hinting at the vacuousness of a society where every last thing can be reinvented or thrown away. Most of all it suggests the commodification and manipulation of women, whether through Botox or the diktats of Iran's Islamic state.”
“This piece is as much a series of stills as a work of theatre, a succession of stylised vignettes whose relationship remains teasing and enigmatic."
Three Weeks ****
"All senses are arrested by this surreal, stylish, site-specific piece about sex-change operations and plastic surgery in Iran. Perplexing, sinister, darkly comic, and with a painterly handling of light, as well as teasing; their big tease, pickled onions and plastic surgery – both in the preservation business."
The List
"Like an underworld imagined by Cocteau."
The Scotsman, Joyce McMillan
The single most theatrical gesture in the whole show lies in the separation of male and female audience members, who follow slightly different paths through the experience; this alone is enough to provoke thought about how sharply gender-divided societies accentuate difference, and perhaps heighten desire. . . moments of superb dance and movement
Fringe Report
Verdict: Powerful exploration of form, performance.
The spoken word is sporadic but powerful: 'Can I be your wife? Can I be your husband?' Recorded speech is haunting - a passage on the effects of Botox on vaginismus; a conversation with different people 'Are you happy to have your sexual organs removed? Sign here please.' Plastic is visually striking in costume, multimedia and setting.
The Stage
A series of disturbingly provocative images, often glanced seductively through arches or around corners

The Persian Revolution

The Herald *****
"Using just five brilliantly blue-suited actors on Leslie Travers's slick, uber-cool set, 30 Bird have turned out a gorgeous-looking piece of serious fun."
The Metro
An enjoyable romp through revolutionary Persia.
Erin Brodie's dark portrayal of the tyrannical, misogynistic Shah contrasts sharply with the wildly amusing re-enactments of Tintin in Destination Moon. The Persian Revolution is a timely play that feels contemporary in its issues
A riotous style and a surreal sense of humour.
The Financial Times
"Seyf and the cast of 30 Bird Productions emphasise the contemporary resonance by presenting events in a surreal, comic style.”
“An inventive, playful piece. The performers are very funny as they scatter in lightning time out of the way of the violent wrath of the Shah as he strides around looking for heads to bang and groins to knee.”
The Stage
Mehrdad Seyf's new play uses the centenary of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution as a springboard for a surreal, stylised and darkly comic essay on this pivotal point in the history of the Middle East.
Erin Brodie relishes her role (as the Shah) and Ali Amadi provides unexpected laughs.
The production sheds light on a fascinating and still relevant period in history.
Moments of insight and genuine humour.
Emel Magazine
“The actors, performances are breathtaking, especially the female actors who take on both male and female roles seamlessly. The stage setting is interestingly simplistic and from such simplicity comes greatness"
“The minimalist stage design produces a modern feel to a story that is 100 years old.”
"A spectacular piece of drama . . . essentially compulsive viewing."
Time Out
"Eccentric, breathless take on the Iranian revolution."
"The drama {has} a giddy free-wheeling feel and allows those on the stage to throw their whole bodies into their acting. Some of the best jokes come from the production's clever choreography.”
“The preening drama-queen Shah, played excellently by Ali Amadi, faints repeatedly into the arms of his advisers as they patter and fuss around him.”
“You can't fault the energy and versatility of the actors.”


The Guardian - Lyn Gardner
Playful, absurdist and comic...(Majnoun) is so deftly staged, so appealingly performed and has such high production values it is impossible not to like"
The Scotsman - Joyce McMillan
What's more unexpected is the sheer childlike playfulness of the show: the fragmented comic surrealism of its style; the obsession with food and movies; the sexy banter between an Iranian girl and her English boyfriend. This is a vital show that raises all the key issues about relations between Iran and the West, and has the slightly self-conscious, in-joke charm of a piece that means a great deal to those whose experience it reflects, but which is only now setting out to be tested in front of the wider audience that so desperately needs to see it
The Herald - Mary Brennan
A roguishly clever script (by director Mehrdad Seyf), a cast of three gifted, versatile players, a set cunningly rooted in farce (lots of sudden little trapdoors and spy holes) and a tremendously uplifting belief in absurd humour as a valuable conduit for serious themes and provocative questions.
The Stage
Told through a blend of cabaret, physical satire and occasional touches of the absurd the result is a highly enjoyable romp through Iranian mores and, indeed costume...Odd characters pop up to sing poignant ditties in Farsi, then cut to scenes recreated from film noirs, as shocking as they are comic, hinting at the imposed struggle between the sexes in Iran. All the while, a couple - he English, she Iranian - debate the cultural differences that threaten to divide them. All promising stuff, particularly when played over Leslie Travers' inventive and deceptively simple set of flagstones and secret traps.
Culture Wars, The Institute of Ideas
Majnoun is a deliciously subtle set of scenes exploring the conflict between imposed modernity and the Islamic traditions of Iran in the 1920s… It is sophisticated, confronting the past wrongs through humour and providing context for careful thought…moments of genius are pleasingly frequent.
Through a series of fragmented episodes, arresting images and various songs, we are given a taste of what modernisation and western influence meant to a nation steeped in tradition.... Leslie Travers' imaginative set springs surprises, the 3 actors give engaging performances and the music is stirring - most memorably Roxana Pope gives a thrilling rendition of Seyf's original composition "Leili". A tantalising evening.

But you speak such good English

Time Out
Funny, poignant and a fine, accessible guide to the natures of both the exiled and their adoptive country

Death by Heroine

The Stage
30 Bird Productions has unearthed a short and fascinating piece of Iranian history for its second play…The Company is one to watch”
Time Out
An epic love affair and enriched by innovative cinematic staging. A brave and thought provoking piece of political theatre on an interesting and underexposed subject.
What’s On
An elegant account of a little known piece of history, Death by Heroine deserves attention

The Parable of the Blind

What’s On - Roger Foss
Writer/Director Mehrdad Seyf and the creative team of 30 Bird Productions have workshopped a unique theatrical experience. A performance style that places emphasis on story telling, physical imagery and choreographed staging, Seyf pulls off the feat of staying true to Hofman’s tragic-comic narrative, challenging our perceptions about art and life while still discovering some highly theatrical images of his own…This is a very promising debut from a new company with a flair for visual ideas you rarely see.




"An enthralling evening, with layers and layers of experience and information."
"A complex piece which showed the relationship between the clinical and the social."
"Very entertaining, very funny and very disturbing."
"This production should make us think about what we are facing over the coming decades."



14 Tables

The Basement and BAC


Audience feedback left on the table cloth:
01 May 2012


"Very original concept, setting.
Loved it."
"Loved the giraffe."
"Really liked the stories."
"Really liked the atmosphere. Nice and intimate."
"It was a lovely mix of realistic moments – pause over eating biscuits – and madness dancing beef!"
"I wanted more."




Chodzenie Siberia

Imagine-Watford Festival


What people said at the Imagine-Watford Festival:
02 Jul 2011


"Very interesting."
"Very original and unique."
"An experience. It was different and not the type of event you would normally find in Watford. It brought a different type of a mood to the top of Watford Parade."
"Interactive, friendly, inspiring."
"Somewhat Bizzare!"
"Very imaginative."
"Very upsetting"
"Metro, modern."


"Creepy and unexpected."
"Thought provoking."