In 2013, Firebird Theatre developed a new stage adaptation of Alan Garner’s arresting short story, The Breadhorse.

In this new devised work, Firebird drew inspiration from the dominant themes of the story: bullying, childhood games and isolation to create an original new piece in collaboration with a community chorus.

The Breadhorse premiered at Bristol Old Vic Studio in March 2013.

Firebird Theatre are a group of experienced disabled performers who work collaboratively to make striking, accessible performances that tell universal stories with personal resonance and theatrical imagination. They are an associate company of Bristol Old Vic.

“We want to be able to give our way of telling stories to the whole world. We want to share our plays with as many people as possible. We want to make our audiences think about the stories we have told them. We want to be seen as professional actors who can learn together and help other people to learn from us. We believe people should work together; it is our vision for the world. We see ourselves as a family of actors with a job to do; to use our style of theatre: music, devised work, text and a large ensemble of actors, to make plays and tell stories to others, our audiences.

“We aim to reach as many people as we can, through our plays and our workshops, through linking up with our audiences and the people we come into contact with. Our job is to do plays and tell stories that will stay in people’s heads long after they leave the theatre and go home. Our job is to make plays for everyone no matter who they are and where they come from. We want to give new meanings and understandings to the stories we tell. What our plays do is tackle life and that is what we want to share with other people. That is what Firebird Theatre does.”
— Firebird Theatre


To watch videos of the making of The Breadhorse and find out more about the company, visit

Image by Carol Chilcott, Artist in Firebird Theatre; photograph by Amanda

funders & supporters

The Breadhorse is made possible by the generous support of Arts Council England, Triangle Trust, Lark Trust, RTR Foundation, David Solomons Charitable Trust and Bristol Old Vic Ferment. Produced by MAYK.