It’s been a busy summer for the company, with The Whale roving the land, making appearances at – amongst many other places and events – the Commonwealth Games, the RSC and the Royal Tall Ships Regatta. The OakMobile (the Whale’s leafy sibling) has been turning up in special places for the National Trust (with a final appearance at altitude atop the Clent Hills); and our new outdoor show The Cricketers causing sporting havoc outside the Birmingham Hippodrome as part of Summer at Southside. Our collaboration with the Centres for the History of Medicine in the UK and Ireland – A Malady of Migration – was performed in Coventry and Dublin; and The Q celebrated the art of queueing at one of the country’s top outdoor arts festivals – Mintfest, in Kendal.

If you’ve missed all that, there are a number of things you can do via the website, including an audio walk of Coventry – the first of our Trails of the Unexpected; a frankly silly Pirate Game; and an audio walk by a canal of your choosing. Visit www.talkingbirds.co.uk.

Meanwhile, Derek and Janet are working with our friends at Midlands Creative Projects and The Belgrade Theatre on The Hundred Years’ War – a new stage production which will give a fresh voice to war poetry from the last century. A national tour starts at the Belgrade Theatre on 31 October/1 November: see www.livepoetry.org for more dates around the UK.

Taking a more light-hearted look at conflict, our final event of the year is the premiere of Ant & Cleo – The Musical! Many of you voted for us and our partners Orchestra of the Swan in The People’s Millions, winning funding for the project. The production features 100 extraordinary young people drawn from two schools for children with special needs (Welcombe Hills and Brays) and Bridgetown Primary School, alongside the superb orchestral forces of the Swan and four brilliant soloists – Birds’ regulars Sam Fox of Kiln Theatre, Jake Oldershaw of Untied Artists and Louise Wayman return, and we’re delighted to welcome Themba Mvula to the ranks.

Hope to see you for this on the 7th-8th November, it’ll be epic.