Thursday, 6 March, 1997

The story tells of two friends who grew up together and how both became traumatised during the 2nd World War. "Birdy" is now in the Army mental hospital, believing he is a bird and "Al" his best friend has been called upon to try and help cure him, even though he himself is suffering mentally. The story flickers between their school days and the present day.

Playing the young men are Adam Garcia as "Al", a boy who is beaten by his father and "Tam Williams as "Birdy", a boy who is obsessed with birds. He dreams of flying with them and becoming one. Both boys grow very close as they find the only people that understands them are each other.

Playing the older "Birdy" is Matthew Wait, who puts in a magnificent performance as a man who thinks he's a bird by squatting and flapping his arms like wings and moving his mouth like a hungry chick . He doesn't say anything until the end of the play but he acts the part very convincingly. The part of the older "Al" is played by Rob Morrow, who too performs strongly as a man who is still suffering the effects of getting beaten by his father, and now his attempt to help his old friend "Birdy" become well again.

The rotating set is very well constructed, with the action of the young men taking place on top and the action of the present day taking place on the ground. This helps move the action smoothly between the present and past and is very effective.

A touching and powerful play, and a solid production that is well directed and acted.

(Darren Dalglish)

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