The Freedom Bird


 By Guy Hutchins
Touring from September 2013

A powerful true story for young people aged eight and over,their families and friends“Look, there ─ high up, against the sun. The Freedom Bird, flying west. Back to Africa. Home.”

The Freedom Bird pieces together an extraordinary true story of courage, determination, compassion and hope on a small tropical island.

Originally a Malagasy princess, Miali was kidnapped by her uncle and passed to the slave traders on the coast. Shipped to Mauritius in appalling conditions ─ sold to the cruellest of slave masters ─ she never lost her dignity or calm ─ to the point where her slave masters gave her a new name: Madame Françoise.


But they shouldn’t have dropped their guard: one night. Miali led a hundred slaves to freedom in the mountain forests. From there, they made regular raids on their old masters ─ but, on an island only twenty miles by thirty, they were never caught. Now, two hundred years later, the river from which she drank is named after her …


Guy Hutchins has talked to Françoise’s distant descendants, explored her network of escape tunnels and drunk from the source of her water supply researching this extraordinary tale. Storytelling, Sega and South Asian dance, live world music, wild digitally generated projections and haunting, evocative mask/puppets swirl together in the company’s unique, unmissable performance style.

Technical info:
6m wide x 6 m deep minimum performing area
Simple pre-rig (c. 20 lanterns) ─ or we can bring our own
Dressing room space for three performers (2m, 1f)