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Mechanimal | Free Online Event

Thu 27 May 2021 - Sat 31 Jul 2021


Other Information

Free Online Event




Available 24/7


55 minutes | age guidance 12+ | the Zugunruhe stream has the option for Captions & subtitles

Filmed in an empty venue and on location in the south west during the January lockdown, Mechanimal present a digital imagining of their award-winning show, Zugunruhe.

Zugunruhe (zoo-gun-rue): an ornithology term for ‘migratory restlessness in birds’. This show explores the incredible flight of a marsh warbler, the world’s only bird whose song echoes its migration route. Body-compasses, magnetic fields, African sunsets, star-chasing, storm-riding, homing…

Zugunruhe aims to widen the lens on the way we think about migration, looking at it from the point of view of natural history and evolution. By specifically exploring birds, the show takes audiences on a fascinating journey into non-human migration in the 21st century – and how this might in turn offer reflections on human movement.

Rehearsing among birds in the wetlands of Somerset, performer Tom Bailey creates a feast of bird behaviour alongside a digital sound map of the marsh warbler’s journey, made by composer Rowan Evans.


We advise listening through headphones for a more intimate and personal connection to the piece and performance.

This digital recording was funded by Arts Council England with support from Pound Arts.

The original stage piece was developed in residence at UCL Migration Research Unit. Supported by The Leverhulme Trust, Arts Council England and Red Brick Building.

Support Mechanimal

Audiences can watch the content for free but are invited to pay what you can with all proceeds going directly towards Mechanimal and the creation of Megalith – enabling the brilliant team who make this work, including performers, sound designer, movement director, dramaturg, lighting designer and associate director and freelance artists, to keep doing what they do. The world will come together to see their brilliant and important work soon.



Unable to tour in 2020 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Mechanimal are currently working on the development of their latest project, Megalith – an exploration on copper mining.

Mechanimal is an award-winning performance company based in Bristol, UK. Led by theatre maker Tom Bailey, it creates and tours climate-focussed work both nationally and internationally.

Winner of an Edinburgh Fringe Herald Angel Award 2018

‘Unusual, utterly compelling solo show’

‘Global and international… a unique and mesmerising production’
FEST – ★★★★

‘Thoughtful, well-performed and beautiful show’

‘Extraordinary… moving and enlightening’

‘Never thought I would be so engrossed by watching a man pretending to be a marsh warbler trying to fly the nest for the first time’

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