In a co-production between Boundless Theatre and Boom Shakalaka, new musical Parakeet makes its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe at Paines Plough’s Roundabout at Summerhall. This inviting and inclusive new collaboration between Brigitte Aphrodite and Quiet Boy is constructed from the thoughts and experiences of young people.
On entering the Roundabout it immediately feels like a different kind of production, Brigitte Aphrodite and Quiet Boy, who also feature in the show welcome the audience to their seats, chatting as if we had just arrived at a colourful party they were hosting.
They tell us that for the rest of the performance they are birds, and their feathery outfits and peaked green hair helps crate that illusion. While the pair provide music and poetry, the narrative shifts to a teenager, taken from her native London to live in Margate, living with her mum and mum’s new boyfriend she’s finding it difficult to adjust.
But meeting a group of new friends with whom she forms a band, and taking an interest in the local parakeet population seems to give her life purpose, and the end result is a moving, heart-warming and inspiring story of friendship and believing in a cause.
Quiet Boy’s music feels modern and inventive, with an alternative electronic vibe, it blends fantastically well with Brigitte Aphrodite’s spoken word and provides a strong base for the cast to work from.
Lula Mebrahtu, Isabel Oliver and Michelle Tiwo work wonderfully well together, as an audience we believe that the story they are telling is their own, and the real-world voices curated by Aphrodite seem to hang in the green tinged air of the Roundabout.
Parakeet is modern and innovative, but most importantly it speaks the voices of a generation, and encourages those who watch it to also find their voice.