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An Open Clasp and Live Theatre co-production
Commissioned by Queen’s Hall Arts, Hexham
Written by Catrina McHugh MBE 
Directed by Laura Lindow
A true story performed by real-life mother and daughter, Cheryl & Abigail Byron

“I sucked in the cold air. Proper fresh air for the first time. I looked at the big sky and it was like being reborn.” 

At the end of Open Clasp's award-winning drama Key Change, four women walk towards the prison gates. The sun is shining, their families are waiting. don’t forget the birds is the true story of what happened next for one of the original collaborators on Key Change, now released and working with Open Clasp Theatre Company. This first-hand account tells how prison took a mother from a daughter and their heart lifting journey to find each other again.

don’t forget the birds is a continuation of Live Theatre’s collaboration with Open Clasp. Key Change previewed at Live Theatre before winning the prestigious Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award and a New York Times Critics’ Pick.

Audience reaction


★★★★ 'It is rich in contradictory humanity and a touching portrait of a mother-daughter bond.' The Guardian

'it is a touching, perceptive and frequently very funny account of what the sentence meant to them both.' Northern Echo

'Astonishing play...What they are achieving is worthy of celebration.' Narc

'The immediate standing ovation at the end – not ones and twos but the majority of the audience rising as one – was a clear indication of the power of the piece.' British Theatre Guide

Powerful, empathetic and entertaining, don’t forget the birds is well worth experiencing. North East Theatre Guide

'nuanced, heartfelt an utter joy' Exeunt Magazine

'a powerful production that unpicks familial love in an original and moving way' Lauren Vevers

don't forget the birds Trailer

★★★★ 'It is rich in contradictory humanity and a touching portrait of a mother-daughter bond.' 

The Guardian

Don't Forget The Birds

  • Arts Council England
  • Community Foundation
  • European Regional Development Fund


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