BBC wildlife presenter and London singer bring birdsong show to Surrey theatre
What happens when a wildlife ranger meets a stage performer birdwatching on the east coast? Well, they create a theatre show inspired by their feathered friends.
Ajay Tegala – the BBC nature presenter, author and ranger – and London singer Anthony Harris, bring their show A Year of Birdsong and Bird Songs to the Electric Theatre, Guildford.
With costumes, choreography and a cacophony of calls, birds are nature’s performers, leading dramatic and theatrical lives. The UK is blessed with a changing cast of winged visitors throughout the four seasons.
From our smallest to our tallest, loudest caller to most complicated singer, Ajay passionately shares fascinating facts, anecdotes and admiration for Britain’s birds. From pigeons in the park to seabirds soaring thousands of miles around the globe, the show looks at the lives and songs of our avian actors through the cold winter months and the sunny summer days as they battle to fly, feed and fledge young.
Between the stories, sounds and footage, Anthony warbles his way from classical to opera, folk to pop, choral to show tunes, in celebration of skylarks, nightingales, woodpeckers, owls, geese and even an ugly duckling.
“We’re both so excited to bring our show to the Electric Theatre for its second ever performance”, says Surrey-born Ajay, who works as a National Trust ranger.
“The show puts the audiences to the test in a fun way, giving knowing nods when they hear the sounds of the familiar birdsong, and a sense of ‘Oh that’s what it is!’ when they discover some of the lesser known calls,” said Ajay.
Stepping through the seasons, A Year of Birdsong and Bird Songs navigates the wintry cold landscapes in to the bustling dawn chorus of spring, with Ajay sharing his unique footage.
From his time conserving rare British wildlife, and working on BBC Springwatch and Winterwatch, Ajay has had many weird and wonderful encounters of the feathered kind. Paired with Anthony’s singing – and love for encouraging audience participation – their show will have audiences tapping their feet, listening, learning and larking around!