East Anglian farmer Gail (Louise Gold, Fiddler On The Roof) has a turned to beekeeping but suddenly, her bees are dropping like flies, much like her love life! After her husband left twenty years ago, Gail hasn’t put much effort into finding love unlike her neighbouring farmer Earl (Siôn Tudor Owen, Amadeus) who seems to have a constant string of women in tow… She’s not the only one who’s struggling however; the marriage of Sarah, Gail’s daughter (Laura Doddington, Last of the Red Hot Lovers), is teetering on the edge, much like her turkey farm where the turkeys always need a hand (or two) in reproducing.
Could city dweller Ben (Richard McIver, In The Blood) be the key to getting the farms back on track? While studying for his bio-science degree at UEA, he’s been sent to collect data from Gail’s bees but things could get tricky for Ben without WIFI, Starbucks and public transport. Perhaps the annual Turkey Dance will make him feel more like part of the community but what will the locals make of his bio-agenda and skin-tight Lycra?
The Birds and The Bees is a funny and flirty comedy full of laughs that locals will love. Hailed a “frisky farce with plenty of flesh” by The Times, the play centres around complicated family dynamics and intertwined relationships of a small rural community where everyone knows each other’s business, sound familiar? The Birds and The Bees was cleverly written by Canadian playwright Mark Crawford with additional material by James McDermott reflecting local heritage, landscapes and that distinctive regional accent. Rated five stars by WhatsOnStage, this raunchy comedy romp of sexual manners causes real belly laughter
“I wanted to pay homage to the boisterous elements of classic bedroom farce, but I knew this play could dive deeper into these characters, their relationships, and bigger ideas about agriculture, science, family, and the environment.” – playwright Mark Crawford. Growing up on a Canadian farm, Mark always heard discussions within his farming family of pesticides effecting the bee population and had always wanted to write a sex-comedy so took up the challenge as Playwright-in-Residence for Blyth Theatre Festival.
This is the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds’ first co-production between New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, Theatre Royal Norwich and John Stalker Productions. The Birds and The Bees was performed first at New Wolsey, travelling to Theatre Royal Norwich and finishing at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds.
Owen Calvert-Lyons, Artistic Director & CEO of Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, said “Theatre Royal is delighted to be co-producing The Birds and The Bees. This is a hugely exciting collaboration, bringing together three of the biggest theatres in our region to create a play which will entertain audiences across East Anglia. We want our audiences to love this play and feel that it speaks to them, so we have employed brilliant local playwright, James McDermott, to transpose the story from its original setting in Canada to East Anglia. The Birds and The Bees is a real laugh-out-loud comedy and I’m sure that audiences all across this region are going to love it.”