30 Bird is a cutting-edge arts company in Cambridge, UK exploring new territories at the boundaries of art, design, science and cross-cultural experience.


We make films, live performances and digital experiences with a strong visual aesthetic that explore questions of place, belonging and difference through humour and personal stories to provoke reflection and dialogue.


Our unique approach to democratic co-creation means participants from outside the arts have equal ownership of the creative process and outcomes.


Our work has an international flavour, collaborating with artists and practitioners from varied backgrounds, such as the UK, Iran, Germany, Italy, Poland, India, Japan, Spain, Chile, Greece and Turkey.

We value:






New territories





what we do

We aim to:


•    Embrace diversity across every aspect of our work


•    Create new art forms across disciplines


•    Engage with diverse communities nationally and internationally


•    Develop new talents in transcultural and interdisciplinary performance


•    Participate and contribute to research locally, nationally and internationally

Founded by Mehrdad Seyf and Claire Summerfield, 30 Bird came into existence as a visual theatre company inspired and informed by cinema, photography, visual arts and politics.


The driving force behind the creation of the company was frustration with the relegation of  immigrant culture to terms such as minority ethnic, political, human rights, all categories designed to create an alien other out of the immigrant that made sure they remain firmly separate from the main structure of society.


From 1996 to 2000


In its first phase between 1996 and 2000, 30 Bird focused on productions created out of the clash between Western and non-Western contents, experimenting with theatrical form and emphasising visual mis-en-scenes inspired by the intersection of diverse spaces.


Influenced by practitioners such as Lepage, Hitchcock, Merce Cunningham and  by thinkers such as Guy Debord and Jacques Lacan, the company created The Parable of the Blind (1996) followed by Death By Heroine (1998) and But You Speak Such Good English (2000), a documentary featuring the rise of Iranian stand up comics in London.


our team

30bird logo
Antony Quinn


Philippa Karpas





Mehrdad Seyf





Antony Quinn




Mehrdad was born in Teheran and has lived in the UK since his teens; he was educated at the Lycée Français in Tehran and London. After studying Literature and Philosophy, he trained as a psychoanalyst at the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research and subsequently worked for 3 years as an analyst. He trained as an actor/director with Complicité, Monica Pagneux, Zoltowski and Lorna Marshall. He founded 30 Bird in 1996 at Riverside Studios.


His theatre credits include The Parable of the Blind, Death By Heroine, Majnoun, The Persian Revolution, Plastic, Chodzenie-Siberia, Poland 3 Iran 2, 14 Tables and Domestic Labour: a study in love.

His productions have toured nationally and internationally. His film credits include: but you speak such good English (executive producer), Yalda for BBC Drama and Film London (writer), Shoes for BBC East(director). Radio Plays include The Virgin and Yalda both for Radio 4. Mehrdad also creates interdisciplinary and site-specific performance work, collaborating with visual artists, architects, dancers and scientists. He was resident artist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, creating Home in the Service of Science in 2016. He was also commissioned to create Borderline Estate Agents by the Wellcome Collection in 2019. He created the Junctures interdisciplinary festival (2014 – 2019) supported by the Elevate fund from Arts Council England. Mehrdad is also a PhD research student at Anglia Ruskin University.


Philippa was born and raised in London and completed a degree in Fine Art Painting at Bath, followed by a Masters Degree in Critical Studies in Visual Art and Theatre at Wimbledon School of Art. Her love of arts has meant she has continued her own creative practice and in 2012 formed Cosy Mama working as a Designer Maker of felted work with an eco-conscience.


She has lived in Cambridge since 2005 and her association with 30 Bird goes back to 2009 when she previously worked as Company Manager. Following a break to have children she went on to work in the Photographic Collection of the Museum of Archaeology of Anthropology before returning to 30 Bird as Project Manager on MUD The Place Where We Stand.


Philippa is passionate about the visual arts and interdisciplinary practice with the innovative possibilities that it can bring. She continues to work on the next phase of MUD alongside her role as Company Manager overseeing the management of the organisation alongside the Artistic Director and the rest of the projects teams.




Antony was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and raised in Bedfordshire, Norfolk and Ireland. He completed a degree in European Economics at the Université de Nantes in France, a Masters in Computer Science and a Postgraduate Certificate in Human-Computer Interaction at University College London, and a Certificate of Higher Education in Genetics at the University of Cambridge. He worked for 17 years as a software engineer, interaction designer and IT leader in genomics and medicine. He then trained as an actor and improviser with Keith Johnstone, and formed his own applied improvisation and role-play company.


He is a member of WRiTEON and the London Devised Theatre Network, and has performed at Cambridge Junction, Corpus Playroom and The Cockpit.


Antony joined in 2020 to lead 30 Bird's digital and innovation strategies.

our Partners

Partners are key to our artistic creation process and we are grateful for the support they give to our innovative work.


Here are some of our main partners over the years:

Amsterdam Fringe
Arts and Business
Battersea Arts Centre
BBC Drama
BBC East
Bush Theatre
Cambridgeshire County Council
Cambridge Festival of Ideas
Cambridge Festival of Science
Cambridge Literary Festival
Contact Theatre
Coutts De Lysle
East 15
Escalator East to Edinburgh
Escalator Shorts
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Film London
Hungry Arts
Institute of Public Health
Imagine Watford
Lynda Jeannot Design Studio
METAL Southend
Lakeside Theatre University of Essex
Polish Cultural Institute
Riverside Studios
St Matthew's Primary School
Teatromania Festival
The Basement
The Place
Traverse Theatre
Toynbee Studios
Victoria Baths Manchester
Watford Palace Theatre

Below are our most current partners .


Thank you all for your support!


If you would like to partner with us, please contact us @ philippa@30bird.org


Welcome to our press area. You will find most of our press material available here, including our latest press releases and images.

Do feel free to contact us if you have any queries @ chris@30bird.org.


Downloading images

Images of 30 Bird productions are available to download on our Flickr galleries. Please contact us for access @ chris@30bird.org.


Attending one of our productions/performances/events

If you are covering one of our productions/performances/events for a press/media/online review, we are happy to put aside a ticket for you. Please contact us in advance @ chris@30bird.org. Please note that any filming and photography is not permitted without prior arrangement.


Press Releases

Some of our press releases can be found here:


- Home in the Service of Science: LMB residency



- Junctures 1



- Domestic Labour at Edinburgh Fringe Festival



- MUD: Launch of A new Cultural Space at St Matthew's Primary School



- Plastic at Edinburg Festival



- The Persian revolution




Find reviews and interviews about 30 Bird's work below:


- Media reviews


- Audience reviews


- Media Interviews

30bird logo
Antony Quinn
30bird logo
Antony Quinn